Monday, August 2, 2021

Nobody muzzled Bengal minister’s voice at GST Council Meet: Anurag Thakur

Minister of State (MoS) in the Finance Ministry Anurag Thakur has categorically dismissed the remarks of West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, who claimed that he was not allowed to speak at the end of the GST Council meeting held in Delhi on Saturday.

Referring to Amit Mitra’s letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in this regard, Anurag Thakur in a series of tweets on Saturday said that in his experience as MoS in the last two years, he had not seen Ms Sitharaman cut off anyone during the GST Council meeting.

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“She has patiently given each and every speaker as much time as they needed, even if it meant that discussions went on for long hours,” he said.

This comes after Amit Mitra claimed that he repeatedly tried to voice objections after Nirmala Sitharaman announced the GST Council’s decision, but his “voice was muzzled as the Secretary brought the meeting to a close and the virtual link was cut off”.

Anurag Thakur said Amit Mitra did not have a stable video conferencing connection throughout the meeting, adding that the Revenue Secretary informed Mr Mitra that his line was breaking and he was not audible. “Further, during the speech made by the Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister, nobody heard Amit Mitra speak up nor did he ask to have his opinion heard. Other members can attest to this,” he said.

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Anurag Thakur clarified that at the end of the discussion Ms Sitharaman asked the Council whether anyone would like to speak and add their comments but the Bengal minister remained silent.

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