PMO writes to CMs, says cooperation behind success


Letter In Wake Of Opposition By Congress, TMC And Left

Opposition must reconsider boycott: Jaitley

New Delhi : In a bid to emphasise “consensual” support to GST, PMO wrote to all chief ministers and leaders of national and recognised parties that the “gigantic task” has been achieved with the cooperation of all states and political parties.

“The Union Cabinet which met on June 22, 2017, acknowledged their contribution and expressed its gratitude to the chief ministers of all states, the GST council, heads of national and state level recognised parties, all MPs and members of state legislatures,” Modi has written to the CMs.

The PMO letter comes around the time that opposition parties Congress, Trinamool and Left have decided against attending the midnight launch of the major tax reform on June 30. “This is a momentous occasion and marks the culmination of many years of preparation,” it states.

The letter notes that GST will not only create a unified national market but would also also prevent cascading of taxes, boost manufacturing activities and exports, generate more employment, and thus improve the overall investment climate in the country.

The PMO communication expresses the hope of more moderate taxes, saying “Moreover, the average tax burden would come down and this will benefit the common man.”

The recipients of the letter have been given a copy of the Cabinet resolution with the request that the Centre’s appreciation be communicated to all ministers and legislators. A slightly briefer version of the letter has been sent to chief secretaries of states as well.

The Cabinet resolution states that “GST is a shining example of national integra- tion and of fiscal federalism at its best. It has been made possible with the close cooperation betwen the central government and all state governments as well as political parties.” The PMO letters were sent to 30 chief ministers, 50 leaders of recognised national and state parties, 17 leaders of recognised parties in Rajya Sabha, 26 leaders in Lok Sabha and 30 chief secretaries besides the secretaries general of the two Houses. New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asked opposition parties like Congress and the Left to reconsider their decision to skip the midnight GST launch on Friday saying they were all consulted on the indirect tax reform and cannot run away from it. “I hope every party will reconsider and revisit its decision” on not participating in the launch event to be organised in the Central Hall of Parliament, he said.

The government, he said, remains committed to the Goods and Services Tax as any other reform. “It is the single most important taxation reform in 70 years.”

All decisions on GST, including rules and tax rates, were taken in consultation with states and political parties must display “broad shoulders” and own up their responsibility, he said. The Congress on Thursday decided to keep away from the special midnight June 30 meeting convened by the government on GST implementation. TMC had announced its decision to boycott the event on Wednesday.

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