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BJP-ruled States are in forefront of anti-GST protest

Nearly all the BJP-ruled States will take part in a protest-demonstration in Delhi on October 17 against Goods and Services Tax [GST] Council’s decision to keep a section of assesses of the Goods Tax and all assesses of Service Tax under the exclusive control of the Central government. The employees and the officers of the Commercial Taxes [CT] will participate in a “mass leave” on the day said the president of the national tax officers’ association [AICCTA] K.R. Suryanarayana. He said that the movement is “gaining strength.”

“BJP ruled States, like Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharastra, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh are already on board with us. Big States will send at least 70 officers each to Delhi demonstration,” he told The Hindu.

As many as 60 officers from Gujarat and “a thousand” from poll bound Uttar Pradesh are expected in Delhi protest, Mr Suryanarayana said.

Protest across the country

Few hundred employees and officers wearing black ribbons assembled in front of central Kolkata office of CT on Thursday — as a part of the nationwide anti-GST protest — to express their solidarity to the movement. In a statement, the Kolkata protestors said that the State CT “monitors about 67 lakh” assesses in the country, while Central government monitors “15 lakhs.”

“With introduction of GST the central services are eyeing to bring disproportionately higher number of assesses into their fold to bolster their career prospects at the cost of State government employees,” the statement said.

The AICCTA flagged the issue soon after the Council approved the proposal in September. Eventually, Finance Ministry deferred the plan to monitor taxes ion both goods and services till GST Council’s next meeting from October 18-20. Meanwhile, the employees of CT stepped up its campaign in the States.

President of Maharashtra association, Vinodji Desai and general secretary of officers’ association in Madhya Pradesh R K Tiwari briefed the senior politicians and the bureaucrats and claimed to have received “positive response.” Mr Suryanarayana briefed the senior politicians and bureaucrats in Tamil Nadu and was “assured” of government’s support.

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