Opposition in the Rajya Sabha today raised the issue of protests across the country by textile manufacturers and traders against the imposition of the GST, saying the new indirect tax would adversely affect the industry, especially the handloom segment.
Several opposition members raised the matter during the Zero Hour with some of them demanding that the textile sector should be exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) net.
Highlighting the recent protests in different parts of the country including Surat, Anand Bhaskar Rapolu (Congress) said GST will disburb the handloom sector and demanded that the sector should be removed from the ambit of the tax.
He also demanded that GST on the powerloom segement too should be lowered.
In a similar vein, TMC members Ahamed Hassan and Sukhendu Shekhar Roy also referred to the strike by readymade garment shopowners in West Bengal.
Joining the issue, senior Congress MP Ahmed Patel said the textile traders were protesting on the streets along with the workers of the unorganised sector. He said small and marginal traders were never subjected to tax before.
According to him, the imposition of GST on the sector will make it uncompetitive.
CPI(M) leader C P Narayanan demanded that items relating to the disabled people should removed from the GST net.
Another CPI(M) member Ritabrata Banerjee spoke about the complexities in the new indirect tax regime which came into force from July 1.
Rajeev Shukla of Congress said there was lack of coordination between the Centre and the states on the implementation of GST.
Besides the problems facing the textile sector, members also raised issues relating to the floods in Assam and Odisha and farmers’ problems.
Digvijaya Singh of Congress said the condition of farmers was worsening and farmers’ suicides have increased by 42 per cent during the NDA rule.
He particularly highlighted the fall in prices of pulses, potato and onion. He has also sought a detailed discussion on the farmers issue.
Raising the issue of floods in Assam, Congress member Sanjay Sinh demanded that the government should start relief measures on a war-footing and announce a package after assessing the damage.
His party colleague Ripun Bora criticised the BJP-led state government saying it has not prepared any contingency plan for tackling the floods.
BJD member Dilip Tirkey demanded special relief package for people affected by floods in certain districts of Odisha, including Kalahandi.
Naresh Agrawal (SP) expressed concern over “vulgar” and misleading advertisments being aired on television channels.
He said there should be regulations to check such advertisements to protect consumer interest.
Veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora asked the government to construct good roads along the Indo-Pak border in Punjab saying these were in very bad condition.
Another Congress member Viplove Thakur highlighted the plight of women, allegedly being brought to Haryana from different parts of the country for marriage as the state’s sex ratio was bad.
She demanded that the government should take steps on the issue seriously.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs M A Naqvi to take note of it.