Bengal Passes GST Under Pressure: Mamata

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that her government supported Goods and Services Tax (GST) under pressure to ensure normal functioning of the state treasury.

“If, we had not supported GST, then treasury would have been closed. We have taken this decision under pressure. Our movement against Centre’s anti-people policy will continue and we will keep on fighting for the ma, mati, manus,” she said in the West Bengal Assembly while participating in discussion on GST.

“We were forced to bring the ordinance for implementing GST for smooth release of funds for developmental projects and salary for the government employees,” she added.

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While praising state finance minister Amit Mitra (who moved the bill), she said, “It’s because of him that the central government forced to reduce GST in certain sectors for the betterment of people.”

Banerjee’s statement came after West Bengal Goods and Services Tax (WBGST) Bill, 2017, was passed by the state Assembly on Monday. Opposition leaders slammed the state government for indulging in ‘drama’ over GST with the central government for the last few months.

Earlier, Mitra had said that they are not against GST but in its present form, it is half-baked and dangerous in its present state.

“The ruling party (BJP) at the Centre opposed GST for seven years in every way possible. I had to fight them when I was in Delhi. The then Gujarat Chief Minister, now the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had opposed it. Our party supported GST in 2009 and nobody else’s manifesto carried it. We have together made GST happen. Nobody needs to seek credit, it is to everybody’s credit, provided we are ready for it,” he had said.