New Delhi (IANS) - Major opposition parties are likely to skip the midnight launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the Central Hall of Parliament on June 30, sources in the parties said. The leaders said there appeared to be a lot of confusion and apprehension among various sections of the trading and business community, some of whom are protesting against certain provisions of the new indirect taxation law. Opposition leaders said they would like to keep away from the function which they feel was being planned by the government as a publicity gimmick. "It's not a tryst with destiny but playing with the destiny of people," one leader remarked.
CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said: "GST should be in the nation's interest and not for propaganda. The ground-work for the roll-out is not ready yet. I am not saying this, but those responsible for preparing the ground work are saying so." Asked about whether the opposition parties would boycott the midnight GST event, Yechury said, "We are not officially boycotting it and not even issuing a whip. The government did not even consult us."
The JD-U, which broke ranks with the opposition parties on the President's election, appeared ambivalent on the issue, but indications were that it may attend the June 30 launch. The development comes as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hasd said the "unnecessary disastrous hurry" on launching the pan-India tax regime will be an "epic blunder" of the Centre, after the demonetisation move.