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West Bengal FM Says Their Voice ‘Gagged’ At GST Council Meeting, Dissent Was Not Heard | India News

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NEW DELHI: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra alleged on Saturday that his voice was “muzzled” during the GST Council meeting on Saturday and his opposition to taxing essential Covid items such as vaccines, masks , personal protective equipment and the antiviral drug Remdesivir, was not heard. However, State Finance Minister Anurag Singh Thakur responded to Mitra’s accusations by saying that technical failures clouded the West Bengal finance minister’s speech.
The 44th meeting of the GST Council, chaired by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and made up of ministers of state, cut the tax rate on Covid drugs such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab on Saturday, as well as on medicinal oxygen and oxygen concentrators, but ignored demands for a reduction in vaccine taxes.
In the evening Mitra tweeted: “GoI led the anti-people movement and imposed GST on vaccine, mask, hand sanitizer, oxygen, PPE, oximeter, Covid test kit, Remdesivir, the RT PCR machine. I have registered my dissent by letter. Unprecedented. Slow death of the only body of cooperative federalism. ”

Mitra had suggested a zero or 0.1 percent GST rating on Covid Essentials.
In the letter to Sitharaman, Mitra said that the decision to continue imposing GST on Covid-related items is “anti-people” and “draconian”, which will harm millions of people.
“I did my best to repeatedly raise my objection after you announced this decision, but unfortunately, I was never given the floor and my voice was gagged, as the Secretary ended the meeting and the virtual link was cut. Where GST Advice! ” Mitra wrote.
On Twitter, Thakur said he would like to “set the record straight,” adding that in his more than two years of attending the GST Council, Sitharaman has never cut anyone during the Council’s discussions.
“During the GST Council discussions today (June 12), it seemed as if the West Bengal Finance Minister did not have a stable VC connection. Revenue Secy repeatedly informed him that his line was breaking, that it was not audible. properly and turn off your video for better connectivity, “Thakur tweeted.
He said that during the speech given by the finance minister of Uttar Pradesh, no one heard Mitra speak, nor did he ask for his opinion to be heard. “Other members can attest to this.”
“At the end of the discussion, when FM @nsitharaman ji asked the Council if anyone would like to speak and add their comments, Dr. Mitra ji again remained silent and did not speak,” added Thakur.
Thakur said Sitharaman has patiently given each speaker all the time they needed, saying that “the Finance Minister has never suppressed dissent in the GST Council. It is not appropriate for a high-ranking member of the Council to suggest that this has It happened. The GST Council embodies the collective spirit of all states towards debate in a healthy way; it has been and will continue. ”
The Council cut the GST of the Covid-19 drug Tocilizumab and the antifungal drug Amphotericin B to zero, from the existing 5%. Hand sanitizer, pulse oximeters, BiPAP machine, test kits, ambulances, and temperature monitoring equipment were among the 18 items in which GST rates were reduced.



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