Bengal’s performance in GST ( (Goods and Services Tax) is one of the best in the country, said state finance minister Amit Mitra in Assembly today while the Opposition alleged that the Budget statistics on agriculture sector were “unbelievable”.
“Our state’s performance in GST is one of the best in the country. Last March, Bengal was the only state which had targeted a 14 per cent GST growth and finally a higher growth has been registered,” said Mitra while addressing the session on Budget discussions.
GST collection has also gone up by 23 percent in 2018-19 in comparison to the 2017-18 fiscal. The minister further said that there has been another 23 per cent rise in the expenditure on State Development Scheme.
“In 2017-18, the expenditure under State Development Scheme was 57,779 crore and in 2018-19 it was 71,113 crore,” he said.
Countering the state government’s figures on good performance, CPI-M MLA Sujan Chakraborty said that the picture of farmers’ well being that is being portrayed by the government is inaccurate. “It has been told that in the last eight years, the income of farmers has risen from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2,91,000.
“In our state, there are 80 per cent marginal farmers possessing less than one acre of land. It is unbelievable that their income has risen in such an exorbitant manner. Agricultural growth rate has never been more than three per cent but farmers’ income has been pegged at 223 per cent. These figures are totally unbelievable,” Chakraborty said at a Press conference after the session.
Chakraborty criticised the Budget as “jugglery statistics” and said that the state has managed to save Rs 1.5 crore a year by not implementing the pay commission recommendation or paying the pending dearness allowances. Chakraborty has drawn the plight of the students belonging to “Economically Weaker Section” category who are unable to seek admission in IITs for not possessing the requisite certificates.
The Left Front has demanded inclusion of all employees covered under the Pay Commission into the government-sponsored Swasthya Sathi scheme. BJP MLA Manoj Tigga said that efforts should be taken to develop the state instead of solely criticising the 34 years of Left’s misrule.