PM Modi’s own state went on strike against GST, says Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray
Mumbai city news: Any new change has to be assessed by the government and improvised upon, said Thackeraymumbai Updated: Jul 07, 2017 12:38 IST
The recently implemented goods and services tax (GST) has been met with mixed reactions across the country and has even led to strikes in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state, Gujarat, said Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Thackeray’s remarks came at an event held at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters on Wednesday.
He addressed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena corporators as state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar handed over a Rs647.34-crore cheque — the first of many payments compensating the civic body for its post-GST octroi loss.
HT had reported on Monday that BMC officials had arranged for a grand event at which the cheque was to be handed over.
“Some are happy, some are critical, some are protesting. There were protests at Modi’s home. Any new change has to be assessed by the government and improvised upon,” said Thackeray, referencing protests by traders in Gujarat.
Since May, the Shiv Sena has been firm in its demand for compensation for the loss of octroi, fearful of losing its autonomy over the BMC — Asia’s richest civic body. Thackeray said the money belongs to Mumbaiites and no one can stake a claim to it.
He reiterated the party’s concerns over Mumbai’s security. “With the octroi gone, the nakas are vulnerable. Anybody can enter the city with an AK-47 or RDX,” he said.
Thackeray also took jibes at Mungantiwar, who thanked him for supporting the state GST within 24 hours. He said he would support the government “immediately” if they continued to accept his party’s suggestions. The Shiv Sena has threatened to withdraw support from the government multiple times.
After ties between the former allies broke at the civic level, the Shiv Sena is playing tough at the state level, while BJP has taken up the Opposition’s role in the civic body. On Wednesday, BJP and Sena corporators shouted defamatory slogans against each other at the BMC headquarters, a form of petty politics both parties have engaged in since the March mayoral elections.
Under the state GST norms, all local bodies in Maharashtra will be compensated 8% compounded interest a year in perpetuity for losses incurred. The BMC is set to lose Rs7,200 crore a year owing to the loss of octroi. “If GST improves the state’s financial position, then we can increase the amount given to the BMC,” said Mungantiwar.