PUDUCHERRY: State secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI) R Viswanathan on Wednesday said Puducherry would suffer revenue loss of about Rs 700 crore if the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is implemented.
Addressing reporters, he said Chief Minister N Rangasamy’s silence on the GST constitutional amendment bill, which has been referred to the Select Committee in parliament, is disquieting.
Pointing out that CPI MP C N Jayadevan had raised the issue in upper house, Viswanathan said provisions of the bill do not pave the way for constitutional devolution of union revenue as prescribed under the article 275 and 280, that is through the central finance commission. He added that the bill in its current form excluded Puducherry from the share of one per cent additional tax on supply of goods for two years or such other period recommended by the GST council.
He said Jayadevan had informed Parliament that Puducherry, under Article 239-A of Constitution, is the only Union Territory with a legislature and that its revenue should be protected in the transition period from VAT regime to GST regime.
The CPI leader said the Congress party, which failed to function as a cohesive unit in the assembly, would not be the alternative to NR Congress in 2016. Though the Congress party got the status of the main opposition, it has failed to function as an active opposition, he charged.
Stating that the CAG report showed how government funds were spent lavishly, Viswanathan said the funds should be recovered from the ministers and officials concerned. Referring to health and education, Viswanathan charged that there was shortage of medicines in government hospitals and that several teachers’ posts were lying vacant. Further, he alleged that free rice was not provided to the people for nine months and demanded that all essential commodities be provided to ration card holders through PDS.
Pointing out that the ward of a central government employee could get admission through CENTAC if he had worked for even one day in Puducherry, Viswanathan demanded that this condition should be changed.