Govt should use CBI, ED to check hoarding, not against political opponents

Kolkata: Criticising the Central government, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the Union government should use the central probe agencies like CBI and ED to control inflation and check hoarding, instead of using them against the political opponents.

“The Central government is not doing anything to control inflation in the country. The prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and other essential commodities including life-saving medicines are increasing every day. The Union government is totally silent about the sufferings of the people because of this exorbitant price rise. The central probe agencies like CBI and ED should be used to check hoarding and control inflation instead of using them for harassing the opposition parties,” Banerjee told the mediapersons after chairing a meeting of the state’s task force for controlling the price of essential commodities, here at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’.

She described the recent rise in the price of petrol and diesel as the BJP’s “return gift” victory — in the recent assembly polls, in four out of five states.

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The Trinamool Congress chief also slammed the Central government for alleged denial of payment of Goods and Services Tax (GST) dues to the state governments, especially to0 the non-BJP-ruled states.

“Our government alone has around Rs 90,000 crore of GST dues from the Union government. If the GST dues are not paid over a long period of time, I doubt that in the coming days, many such state governments would not be able to pay the salaries to the state government employees,” she said.

Banerjee also said the Central government should waive off toll tax.

“The carriages carrying essential items should be kept out of the toll tax ambit since this tax is yet another reason for exorbitant price rise for essential items,” the chief minister said.

Responding to Banerjee, West Bengal unit Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president and party MP, Sukanta Majumdar wondered if the Central government has to take all the remedial measures, then “what is her government supposed to do?”

“These are all baseless demands,” he said.

The state BJP leadership has already said that the West Bengal government should reduce the state tax on oil to bring down the price of petrol and diesel.

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