The Congress on Saturday claimed that the Centre deferred the hike in GST on textiles from 5 per cent to 12 percent out of fear of losing the upcoming Assembly elections in five states and later in Gujarat, which is a textile hub.
Addressing a press conference here on New Year day, the party's national spokesperson Pawan Khera said considering the current scenario of inflation, wishing people a "prosperous year" would be a lie, and handed out a list of items that will become costlier this year, such as footwear, online auto ride booking, FMCG products, ATM service charge, cement, steel, etc.
The only way to prevent Prime Minister Narendra Modi from continuing with the price rise on items of daily necessities is by giving him a taste of defeat in the elections, Khera said. "The Centre was going to raise the GST on textile, of which Gujarat is a hub, from January 1, but it decided to defer the move. It was done because of the upcoming elections in five states, and after that in Gujarat (which will go to the polls in December this year)," he said. So, the decision to raise the GST on textile was put on hold out of fear of (defeat) in these elections, he said.
The BJP only understands the language of victory and defeat, and has nothing to do with people's prosperity, the spokesperson said. The Centre decided to reduce the prices of petrol and diesel, only after its deposit on seats in the Assembly by-elections in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh were forfeited. The government also withdrew the controversial farm laws, Khera said.
The ruling party also tasted defeat in the urban bodies polls in Karnataka a few days ago, which was also factored in in its decision to put off the hike in GST on textiles, he said. "The indication is clear. He (Prime Minister Modi) only understands the language of vote, victory and defeat. He has nothing to do with running the government, of concern for our prosperity, whatever happens to the country. He will rectify his mistakes only when he is defeated," Khera said.
"If we want the mistakes to be corrected, then we will have to give them a reply in a language that they understand — by showing them defeat," he said. Khera also handed out a list of recent decisions taken by the Centre, which the Congress claimed has added burden on the public, such as a hike in GST on footwear, online auto ride bookings, rise in FMCG products, rise in ATM service charges, cement, steel, etc.
The GST Council had on September 17 decided to correct the inverted duty structure in the textile sector and decided that a 12 per cent uniform GST rate will be applied on textile products, including readymade garments, except cotton. The decision was put on hold as per an announcement made by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
-With PTI Inputs