Instead of taxing the super rich, the Modi government is giving them further tax concessions and loan waivers. Many of the luxury goods that should have been taxed heavily are having a modest GST. Gold purchases are taxed at three per cent, diamonds at 1.5 per cent, while food items have GST of five per cent or more, said a statement
The Manipur Secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday came down heavily on the central government for imposing unprecedented burdens on the people through the GST hikes on all essential commodities such as pre-packaged rice, wheat, milk. The CPI (M)’s Polit Bureau demanded immediate roll back of GST hikes.
A press statement issued by CPI (M) Manipur State Committee Secretary Kshetrimayum Santa maintained that Independent India abandoned the policy of the colonial British government’s tax on food items. In these last 75 years food items like rice, wheat, pulses etc., daily essentials like curd, paneer, meat, fish, jaggery were never taxed. This is the Modi government’s ‘gift’ to the Indian people in this year of’ Azaadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’, it added.
Stating that the range of items on which GST has been increased also includes crematorium charges, hospital rooms, writing ink etc, the CPI (M) Manipur State Committee said even to withdraw one’s own savings from their bank account people have to pay 18 per cent GST on bank cheques.
This cruel assault on people’s livelihood comes when there is a run-away price rise with the Consumer Price Index ranging above seven per cent and the Wholesale price Index above 15 per cent, soaring unemployment, a tumbling rupee, unprecedented trade deficit and a stumbling GDP growth. These hikes will further ruin people’s livelihood, said the statement.
The statement further said to raise revenue, the Modi government must tax the super-rich and not impose more burdens on the people. Apart from having the fastest growing billionaires in the world, companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange reported collective profits of Rs, 9.3 lakh crores in 2021-222, i.e., 70 per cent more than the previous year and three times higher than the average profits earned during the decade, 2010-2020.
“Instead of taxing the super rich, the Modi government is giving them further tax concessions and loan waivers. Many of the luxury goods that should have been taxed heavily are having a modest GST. Gold purchases are taxed at three per cent, diamonds at 1.5 per cent, while food items have a GST of five per cent or more,” it lamented.
The statement also said the claim of the Modi government that no opposition was raised against these hikes is blatantly untrue. The Kerala Chief Minister has written to the Prime Minister conveying the state government’s strong objection and reminding him that the state finance minister conveyed reservations as early as in November 2021 against these proposals when they were first mooted.
The Manipur Secretariat of the CPI (M) called upon all-party units to organise broad-based protest actions against this cruel attack on people’s lives.