West Bengal asks for lowering ‘Great Selfish Tax’

Kolkata :The West Bengal government has written to the Centre, putting on record  the suffering of small industries due to the hurried implementation of the GST, says a PTI report.

West Bengal  Finance Minister Amit Mitra, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has pointed out the hardship of small traders, particularly those involved in the handlooms sector.

Mitra said in Surat alone, around 90,000 out of the seven lakh hand operated looms were “sold at throwaway prices”.

The minister said prices of most commodities have gone up after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, adding to the discontent among people.

The report  said that Mitra has also apprised Jaitley about the grievances of bigger traders, arising out of the “complexity in return-filing under the GST”, in the letter.

As a result, the filing of returns has dropped from 80 per cent in July to 60 per cent in August, Mitra claimed.

Mitra added that the frequent changes in the GST regulations has made it difficult to format the same online, pushing back the system to the pre-Value Added Tax (VAT) era.

He  saidthat after the implementation of the new tax regime, many household consumer items have fallen under the high 28 per cent tax bracket.

Apart from cigarettes and other tobacco items, the 28 per cent bracket should be changed to 18 per cent, he said in the letter.

Consumer items presently under the 18 per cent tax bracket should be brought under 12 per cent, Mitra said in the communication to Jaitley.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had yesterday slammed the Centre, terming the GST as a “Great Selfish Tax to harass people and finish the economy”.

NEWSNET ONE

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