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Captain govt’s decision to levy 18% GST, condemnable: Harpal Cheema

CHANDIGARH, MAY 15: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) senior leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema strongly condemned the imposition of 18 per cent GST on the registry rates of urban properties by the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government during the Corona pandemic.

Cheema demanded that the Captain government should immediately withdraw the GST on registry rates. In a statement issued here on Saturday, Harpal Singh Cheema said that at a time when the Corona pandemic was raging in Punjab and people’s businesses and jobs were in jeopardy, it was only then that the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government imposed 18 percent GST on properties in a silent manner, which was a reprehensible decision.

He said that some time back, the Congress government had imposed 0.25 per cent Special Infrastructure Development Tax (Service Charge) on property registries but now, the Captain government had imposed 9 per cent state GST and 9 per cent central GST on registry rates, thus increasing the economic burden of the people.

Lashing out at the Captain government, Cheema said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government should have helped the people financially by giving tax reliefs, but at the same time, the government issued an unofficial order by implementing GST to harass the people. However, the government had hiked collector rates in February, he added.

The LoP further said the lockdown had wiped out other businesses in the state, including real estate. “As a result, shopkeepers, traders and industrialists as well as property traders are on the brink of ruin. In addition, the people who dreamed of building their own houses by collecting their hard earned money have been quietly robbed by the Captain government,” said Cheema. He said that it was now impossible for the people to buy a home in urban areas.

Cheema said that if the Captain government could not provide financial assistance to the common man and businessmen during the Corona pandemic, it should also not impose a tax burden on them. “The Congress government instead should show mercy to the exchequer by reducing its expenditure on ministers and leaders,” he added.

Cheema appealed to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to immediately remove other taxes including GST levied on the registries of urban properties so that the dream of the common man to build a house could come true.

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