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GST Bill An Attempt To Curtail State's Power By Centre: Tripura CM

Following the passage of Goods and Services Tax Bill in the Lower House of the parliament after it was passed by the Rajya Sabha last week, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has said the GST is an attempt to curtail the power of the state governments by the Centre. Speaking to reporters in his office on Monday, Sarkar, also a politburo member of the CPI(M) said, "In general what it seems is that the power of the state government is getting curtailed as total power is concentrating in the hand of the centre and this is the main issue."

Talking about the GST bill, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government says will accelerate the Indian economy, Sarkar stated there are reasons to be worried about regarding it. "Based on this we have to see how the power will be divided between the state and the centre, until and unless this is given a full shape there is no scope for coming to final conclusion. However, there is enough reason for being worried on this," he added.

He said his main worry is not whether the states are going to be benefited out of the GST but, how the powers guaranteed by the Constitution to the states governments are gradually shrinking. "Maybe ours is a small state and the revenue amount also not that big but the question is not about the size of the state rather the power empowered to the states in a federal structure and as guaranteed by the constitution. These scopes and power of the states are one by one getting into the hand of the centre and this is not correct," he added.

The Lok Sabha on Monday unanimously passed a constitution amendment bill that enables mega reform Goods and Services Tax Bill or GST. The bill will now be sent to state assemblies for approval after the President's approval.

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