New Delhi : The Congress Party on Thursday announced to boycott the mid-night celebration in the Central Hall of Parliament on the occasion of Goods and Service Tax (GST) roll out and branded this as 'publicity' or 'tamasha' (drama) of the Narendra Modi government .
Addressing a press conference here, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Congress party party will boycott the GST celebration to be held on 30 June midnight for the rollout of GST in Parliament's Central Hall.
He said there were two reasons for Congress' boycott.
"First till now, only three midnight celebrations are held in Central Hall i.e. 15 August 1947, 1972 freedom silver jubilee and 1997 freedom golden jubilee. Second, the Prime Minister and his party leaders are not taking cognizance of farmers' distress, brutal killing of Dalits and the minorities people, rising unemployment, border insecurity, etcetera," he said.
Another Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that under the tenure of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government some laws were amended for the benefit of people but the grand old party never celebrated it like this way.
"We are boycotting this midnight celebration. In UPA government; Right to Information (RTI) Act, Food Security Act, MNREGA, Right to Education laws were passed which were beneficial for people. But, we never made celebration for such things in central hall. The BJP is doing publicity only in which they are master," Kharge said.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said that the Congress party cannot be a part of such 'tamasha' (drama).
"Indian National Congress cannot be party to such a 'tamasha' (drama), doing publicity merely for taxation purpose," Sharma said.
Earlier, Congress had objected to Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching GST at the special midnight function in the Parliament house pointing out that since President Pranab Mukherjee will be present, it would undermine his status.
"How can the Prime Minister launch GST in the presence of the President? This is not done and acceptable," Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also dubbed the hurried rollout of the GST as an "epic blunder" by the Centre.
Mamata had said her party would not attend the GST rollout programme.
The GST, which is slated to be rolled out on the midnight of June 30, will bring the Indian economy under a single tax bracket.
Six slabs of taxation have been proposed by the council, ranging from zero percent to 43 percent.
Initially, it is being said that essential commodities and luxury goods will be taxed separately.
The GST is said to be extremely beneficial to consumers, as it will bring down the price of goods and curb inflation.
The GST is also said to reduce the delays in tax payments and ensure more stringent checks on the same. (ANI)