You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Mamata Banerjee says GST in its current form ‘not acceptable’

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-06-2017 Arkamoy Dutta Majumdar

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said goods and services tax (GST) in its current form is “not acceptable” and that she will send a strongly worded missive to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley explaining why she is unhappy with the new tax regime.

West Bengal’s finance minister Amit Mitra will attend Saturday’s GST Council meeting, where he will seek reduction in proposed tax rates for several items such as footwear priced below Rs500, single-screen movies and cashew nuts.

Banerjee said on Friday at an administrative review meeting that GST will add to people’s woes coming at a time when economic activity in India has slowed down due to demonetisation.

On Friday, she again said gross domestic product, or GDP in the March quarter grew at 6.1%, almost two percentage points lower than the same period a year earlier because of the ban on high value currency notes. On Thursday, she had said she stood vindicated by the latest GDP numbers.

West Bengal has not yet passed the GST bill in the state assembly to implement the new tax regime. Minister for parliamentary affairs in the state, Partha Chatterjee, had said earlier in the week that the state would decide on moving the bill in the state assembly only after seeing how the state’s misgivings about GST are addressed by the Centre.

Mitra, the finance minister, said in the GST Council of 33 members, he had a “single vote”. Still, he will continue to fight within the panel for reduction of tax rates. Single-screen movie theatres are to be levied 28% tax under the new regime, he said, adding they will not be able to cope with the burden.

Similarly, footwear priced below Rs500 should be exempted because it is a product used by the weaker sections of the society, according to Mitra. It is proposed to be taxed at 12%.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon