The Maharashtra government today sought to discard fears that the GST roll-out would undermine Mumbai’s security because the vehicles entering the city will not have to stop and face checks at borders after abolition of octroi. Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar sought to assure the state assembly that the GST roll-out would entail no security threat to the metropolis saying the vehicles entering the city will still be under watch and the government would take new steps to beef up the security.
The minister was speaking during a discussion in the Lower House on the second day of the three-day special session convened to pave way for the country-wide implementation of the GST from July 1. Mungantiwar’s assurance came in response to Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu fears that there won’t be any more checks of the vehicles at Mumbai entry points after abolition of octroi, with the GST coming into force.
Prabhu said when vehicles stop to pay octroi, it also ensures that a watch is kept on them. “After abolition of octroi, there won’t be checking of vehicles. As a result, all vehicles will enter Mumbai, raising questions over the the city’s security,” Prabhu said. “The government will pay special attention to Mumbai’s security. New measures to boost the city’s security will be undertaken,” the minister said.
Leader of opposition in assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said the government should tread carefully while implementing the GST.
“The GST should not become another move like demonetisation, where there were many flaws in implementation due to lack of proper planning,” Vikhe Patil said. The government should have also convened a special session to discuss farmers loan waiver and other agrarian issues, he said.
Former Maharashtra Finance minister and NCP MLA Jayant Patil said several things are going to become costly after imposition of the GST. “Mr Speaker, the dhoti you are wearing will also become costly. So you should christen Mungantiwar as expenditure minister, instead of finance minister,” he said.
Patil was under attack in the Lower House today after BJP MLA Manda Mhatre objected to certain reference he made about her during his speech on GST in the assembly yesterday.
Patil had described Mhatre, a former NCP legislator, as “our (NCP) product.” Mhatre said the reference was demeaning. Former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar defended Patil, saying “NCP has always respected women.”
Speaker Haribhau Bagde said he will examine the remarks. Patil also took potshots at BJP’s Eknath Khadse, who resigned from the state cabinet following corruption charges in a land deal.
“The most important issue before Maharashtra is: Why did Katappa kill Bahubaali? If Khadse speaks, the House will come to know,” Patil said, using the famous dialogue from “Baahubali” in a veiled reference to media reports that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had orchestrated Khadse’s exit.
Patil spoke of Khadse greeting Congress-NCP leaders during the recent sangharsh yatra of the opposition, in his Jalgaon constituency. Khadse, who was present in the House, quipped, “You had come to find out why did Katappa kill Bahubaali.” NCP MP Supriya Sule was today seen in the visitor’s gallery of the assembly. Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray had witnessed the Assembly proceedings for a while yesterday.