UPA taking unilateral decisions on key issues: TMC
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 21:38
New Delhi: Key UPA constituent Trinamool Congress today attacked the government in the Rajya Sabha, accusing it of taking unilateral decisions on crucial issues like Central Sales Tax (CST) and questioning if this was the "operative federalism" where states are denied their rights.

"You know what is happening on the CST...The states, in fact, are losing money, and a unilateral decision has been made not to give the states what is actually due to them," Trinamool member Derek O'Brien said while participating in the debate on General Budget.

Citing the case of Trinamool Congress-ruled West Bengal, he said the loss amounts to Rs 1,200 crore. "If you look at some of the other states, it is between Rs 800-1,200 and Rs 1,500 crore," he said, adding "this has been done unilaterally."

O'Brien rejected Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's contention that CST was reduced from four to two per cent on the recommendation of the Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers, asking, "then, how come the service tax recommendation made by the same committee this year was not listened to?"

He said, "so, the first question we need to ask ourselves, is this operative federalism denying the states of what really belongs to them by unilaterally taking these decisions?"

The Trinamool member said he suspected some "devious intention" even in the proposed General Sales Tax (GST) "and that is why we were not as gung-ho" about it.

He also voiced unhappiness over the Rs 600 crore budgetary provision for the green revolution in eastern India, arguing that it was not sufficient.

"Paddy production went up by seven million, thanks to Rs 400 crore which was pumped in last year. What is the figure this year?...this year is paltry, Rs 600 crore," O'Brien said and asked the Finance Minister to look at the budget through the "prism of operative federalism".

O'Brien also asked the Finance Minister to bring down the interest rates on loans under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to 6.5 per cent from 9.5 per cent now.


First Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 21:38

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