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Congress-led opposition calls for hartal in Kerala on GST, petrol price hike

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-10-2017 Nidheesh M.K.

Bengaluru: The Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala has announced a strike in protest against “the hasty rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the unfair hike in fuel prices” on 16 October. The hartal will be peaceful and essential services will be exempted, party leader Ramesh Chennithala said to reporters on Wednesday.

The call for a strike coincided with the ruling Left front government taking strong objection to “the hardships caused by the GST rollout in the state.”

The state cabinet on Wednesday noted that the GST rollout has adversely impacted the state’s economy and is causing significant hardships to both traders and consumers.

The government will bring to the attention of the GST council how unfair pricing thrives among traders due to the lack of strong anti-profiteering clauses in GST, and the bottlenecks associated with the software developed by Goods and Services Tax Network to remit the tax, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Facebook on Wednesday.

Opposition leader Chennithala said the Congress’s protest is not only against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the centre but also against the left front government in the state. The state finance minister Thomas Isaac acted like a spokesperson for the centre on GST, he said.

Press Trust of India contributed to this story

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