Opposition walkout in Kerala over tax collection

The speaker disallowed the Opposition demand for discussion on the adjournment motion.


Kerala Assembly [file photo]

March 2, 2023

NEW DELHI – The Opposition UDF staged a walkout in the Kerala Assembly on Wednesday after the speaker disallowed their demand for discussion on an adjournment motion over the mismanagement in tax collection.

It was Congress member Roji M John who had given a notice for the adjournment motion stating that the government has failed to provide the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) allocation and prevent tax leakages and has incurred tax losses to the tune of crores of rupees.

Speaker AN Shamseer at the outset said issues related to Goods and Services Tax had been discussed many times during the ongoing Budget session and so an adjournment motion is unnecessary in the matter.

Usually, the Speaker allows a member who give the notice for the motion and the minister concerned to make their points and only then would he decline the motion. However, the Speaker, on Wednesday, went straight to the next proceeding ignoring the adjournment motion moved by Roji M John.

Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said that the issue is new and very serious. He said it is related to the issue of Kerala losing over Rs 25,000 crore in the last five years by way of unclaimed Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST). The Opposition also pointed out that the finance minister has not answered any of the questions asked on the same issue earlier.

The Opposition has repeatedly demanded that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system be reformed, but it has not been done, the opposition leader said.

“You are afraid of adjournment motions. In the last two days you have lost face and now you want to deprive the Opposition of its rights,” Satheesan said.

Protesting against the Speaker’s refusal to even allow the Opposition to move the adjournment motion,the UDF members staged a walk out from the House.

The proceedings of the assembly were disrupted on Tuesday too, following the UDF members referred the Enforcement Directorate’s(ED’s) remand report submitted to the court seeking custody of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former principal secretary, who was arrested by the agency in the Life Mission bribery case, in the House.

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