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Bengal lodges electric car shift protest

Amit Mitra registered the state’s protest against the Centre’s decision to reduce GST on electricity-powered vehicles
Amit Mitra

Our Special Correspondent   |   Calcutta   |   Published 24.07.19, 07:53 PM

Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra has written to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman registering the state’s protest against the Centre’s decision to reduce GST on electricity-powered vehicles from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.

The Union finance ministry has convened an urgent meeting of the GST Council — to be held through video conferencing on Thursday — to get the rate cut approved.

“An ill-planned effort to push electrical vehicles would hurt the automobile sector, which is a Rs 1.7 lakh crore industry and employs nearly 3.7 crore people. As the country does not have the required infrastructure to replace the existing vehicles with electrical vehicles in the near future, a rush to make electrical vehicles mandatory soon would lead to a disaster,” Mitra said at Nabanna on Wednesday.

“…It is clear that the Centre is determined to replace existing vehicles with electrical ones in about five years. This will be a disaster,” Mitra said. He said shifting to electricity-powered vehicles in five years was practically not possible.

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