GST Rollout, launch in India: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday expressed her grave concerns over certain Goods and Services Tax (GST) clauses that have worried her. Banerjee said that freedom and democracy are in grave danger with the launch of the new tax regime. “Given atmosphere in the country of vindictively targeting anyone who dares to disagree with Central Government, I am deeply concerned that arrest clause in GST may well be used to target business leaders who raise the voice of dissent on any policy matter/any practices,” Banerjee said. “At midnight of 30th June, 2017, freedom and democracy stand to face grave danger. The mockery of Inspector Raj is back,” Banerjee added. Earlier on Wednesday, Banerjee had expressed her concerns over the timing of GST rollout which she called an “unnecessary disastrous hurry”. The West Bengal CM, in an article wrote on her Facebook post, said that GST is “another epic blunder of the Centre after Demonetisation”. Banerjee had said that business community is confused and scared about the clauses of GST and the GST rollout should be deferred for some time.
“Our repeated suggestions to take some more time to properly implement GST have fallen on deaf ears. The entire business community, especially the small and medium ones, are scared and confused. Only 60 hours are left before this ill-planned launch and no one knows for sure what’s happening!” Banerjee added that essential commodities such as medicines are not available in many places and prices of various commodities are rising for lack of clarity and mismanagement. The West Bengal CM pointed out that there are almost 20 different taxes in the present tax regime and the economy is not yet ready to face the GST from the 1st of July, 2017.
She further added that the 3 days strike declared by the Textile Industries of India provides evidence to our deep concerns about the lack of preparedness. The chief minister further claimed that small business entities are not yet ready with the basic requirements of an invoice, accounting system, IT system, etc. Another piece of evidence of unpreparedness comes from the fact that the ‘Return Form’ had to be simplified for the first 6 months as all systems are not in place, Mamata wrote.