Economy

Congress to skip special midnight meeting on GST

A gong will be sounded at midnight to usher in the GST. Mr. Modi will be the key speaker at the function in Parliament.

The Congress on Thursday decided to keep away from a special midnight June 30 meeting convened by the government for GST (Goods and Services Tax) launch.

Party’s senior spokesperson Satyavrat Chaturvedi said “the Congress will not attend the special GST meeting on its implementation.”

The decision came after Congress president Sonia Gandhi met former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with other leaders on Thursday.

The party has been in a dilemma over attending the midnight event in Parliament and has had discussions with other parties, which are likely to follow suit.

Trinamool Congress has already announced its decision to boycott the meeting.

Sources said Congress leaders weighed ithe party's options, as a group within felt that the GST was the party’s brainchild that has now been taken over by the BJP, and thus favoured attending the meeting. However, some leaders opposing it felt that the GST is being implemented in a haste and all aspects were not taken into consideration leading to harassment of small traders and businessmen and thus, the party should abstain.

Sources said the Congress was apparently irked with Mr. Modi trying to emulate the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s midnight “tryst with destiny” speech on the eve of Independence.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury had questioned the government on “hurrying” into introducing the GST, and recalled that the BJP had opposed the system when it was in the Opposition.

The government will use the circular-shaped Central Hall to launch the new taxation system that is set to dramatically re-shape the over $2 trillion economy.

A gong will be sounded at midnight to usher in the GST. Mr. Modi will be the key speaker at the function.

President Pranab Mukherjee is likely to attend the function, where former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda have also been invited.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:31:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/congress-not-to-attend-special-midnight-meeting-on-gst/article19173651.ece

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