Ministry refutes Bengal minister’s charge that he was not allowed to speak at GST Council meet

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 12, 2021

Anurag Thakur

No one muzzled Amit Mitra's voice: Anurag Thakur

Minister of State in the Finance Ministry, Anurag Thakur, has refuted the remarks of West Bengal Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, that he was not allowed to speak at the end of the GST Council meeting held here on Saturday.

Referring to Mitra's letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Thakur said in his experience as MoS in the last two years, he had not seen Sitharaman cut off anyone during the GST Council meeting . "She has patiently given each & every speaker as much time as they needed, even if it meant discussions went on for long hours," Thakur claimed.

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

At the end of the discussion, the MoS claimed that Sitharaman asked the Council whether anyone would like to speak and add their comments. "Mitra again remained silent and did not speak up. The Finance Minister has never stifled dissent in the GST Council. It is unbecoming of a senior member of the Council to suggest that this has happened. The GST Council embodies the collective spirit of all states towards debate in a healthy manner; it has been and shall continue," Thakur said in a series of tweets.

Published on June 12, 2021

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