Shimla: Commerce and Industry Ministry Anand Sharma has said that if the ruling Congress Party wins elections in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh next month, the Union Government will take steps to slash VAT (value added tax) on commodities of common use and give respite to the masses.
Currently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rules in Himachal Pradesh that goes to polls on November 04.
“We will provide relief to people in Himachal, if the Congress is voted to power, as it has been done in the other Congress-ruled states. The VAT (value added taxes) will be reduced in Himachal as it has been in other sister states,” assured Sharma.
On foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, Sharma said: “In Himachal we will implement, like our other sister states of the country, FDI (foreign direct investment) in multi-brand retail trade to create an integrated value chain, infrastructure and generate employment.”
He also claimed that a majority of the farmers unions, consumers’ federations and industry associations had supported this measure.
“All the major farmers unions of India, except for the politically affiliated farmers union of the Left Front and the BJP, have endorsed it (foreign direct investment) wholeheartedly and publicly. All consumers’ federations have supported, all industry federations, particularly micro, cottage, and small industry associations, all over India in every state have supported. Consensus can’t be confused with unanimity,” said Sharma.
Opponents of the reforms mooted by the Congress party are the BJP, partners in the Left Front and also a couple of other parties supporting the ruling coalition.