Oppn slams govt over VAT issue

Oppn slams govt over VAT issue

The BJP on Wednesday warned the Aam Aadmi Party government of city-wide protests if the decision to amend the Value Added Tax (VAT) is not rolled back in two or three days.

Even Congress staged a demonstration against the passing of the Delhi Value Added Tax (2nd Amendment) Bill in Vidhan Sabha outside Chief MInister Arvind Kejriwal’s home in Civil Lines on Wednesday. The bill enables a hike in the upper limit of VAT up to 30 per cent.

“Have the people of Delhi asked for increase in VAT through Delhi Dialogue? The hike will directly have an impact on the common man,” said Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay.
“The government is camouflaging its real intentions by saying that the amendment will only give it flexibility to regulate the VAT rates,” he added.

The BJP said that with the increase in VAT petrol will become costly by Rs 9 and diesel by Rs 5. “Even cable TV will become dearer. Is this really a Swaraj Budget?” asked BJP’s South Delhi MP Ramesh Bidhuri.

“The AAP government should take the decision back in the next two-three days or else we will resort to chakka jam and strikes in the markets by engaging traders associations with us,” said Upadhyay said.

The party also took a dig at the AAP government’s move of nearly 200 employees as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s secretariat staff. “Is this an example of an austere government?” Upadhyay said.

The Congress echoed similar concerns. Scores of the Congress workers gathered outside Arvind Kejriwal’s house in north Delhi around noon and raised slogans like, “Roll back VAT Bill”.

The BJP also attacked the way the Budget session was concluded by terming it “undemocratic”. Leader of Opposition in Delhi Legislative Assembly Vijender Gupta said that the AAP government created a sort of history since the creation of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha by having the shortest Budget session.

“The session passed budget without any amendment. The government passed four important bills without discussion. The session was reduced to mere formality without discussion and debate,” Gupta said.

The statutory and constitutional provisions were “totally ignored”, he added. “The opposition was not given due importance it deserves in a democratic set-up. The BJP would bring the lapse of procedures and violations to the notice of LG and seek his intervention so that AAP government does not repeat such gross mistakes in future.”  

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