In LS, Opposition terms ₹1,000 cr. package for tea industry jumla, Minister hits back

OROP, Extension of GST Compensation for States and Alleged Abuse of Central Agencies During Zero Hour

OROP, Extension of GST Compensation for States and Alleged Abuse of Central Agencies During Zero Hour

The Lok Sabha witnessed sharp exchanges between opposition members and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Anupriya Patel on Wednesday after Congress Gaurav Gogoi promised Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of a 1,000 crore package for the tea industry. of Assam and West Bengal as a ‘jumla’ or a gimmick.

During Question Time, when Mr Gogoi said that not a cent had been spent of the amount Ms Sitharaman announced in last year’s budget, Ms Patel said: “This is not a ‘jumla’ at all. There has been a lot of thought and planning by the government… We want to bring all the benefits to the intended beneficiaries with due care and in a systematic way”.

Although the Tea Board drafted Prime Minister Chai Shramik Protsahan’s plan, it was felt that all welfare schemes related to education, health care or other facilities were already made available through various ministries’ schemes, she said.

“Another opinion came that we can set up capital infrastructure such as anganwadi centers, hospitals, ayush and wellness centers and schools,” she said.

One Rank One Pension (OROP), extension of GST compensation and alleged abuse of central agencies against political rivals were the other prominent issues raised during the zero hour.

OROP problem

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who raised the OROP issue, said the government had failed to do justice to retired armed forces personnel as it opposed a plea from the ex-military association in the Supreme Court.

With Congress President Sonia Gandhi by his side, Mr. Chowdhury that the previous Congress-led UPA government had pledged on February 17, 2014 to implement OROP according to the recommendations of the Bhagat Singh Koshyari Committee.

“The current administration believes in cashing in on their courage for voting politics, but when it comes to giving back, they forget about them,” he claimed.

In the Supreme Court, the government recently opposed the ex-military association that had pursued the implementation of OROP with an automatic annual review (as recommended by the commission) rather than the current policy of periodic review once every five years.

GST Compensation

Kathir Anand, member of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, raised the issue of the goods and services tax (GST) compensation for the states and demanded that the Center extend it for a few more years. Under the GST Act, beginning July 1, 2017, states were guaranteed bimonthly compensation for lost revenue in the first five years of GST implementation. Tamil Nadu would suffer a loss of revenue of about ₹20,000 crore if the compensation was not extended for more than five years, he said.

Trinamool Congress’ Sougata Roy raised the issue of “using” the CBI and Enforcement Directorate against non-BJP-ruled states, leading to sharp exchanges between the TMC members and the Treasury Department banks . While BJP members protested, Mr. Roy, a term Speaker Om Birla had asked him not to use, and suspended the House for lunch.

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