The Working Committee meeting of CITU, being held on 14-16 July 2017 at Shimla notes with serious concern the grievous impact of the GST launched by the Govt of India with much fanfare on 1st July 2017. The GST has adversely impacted the common people at large, particularly the workers in the unorganised sector, people engaged in small and decentralised manufacturing like tailoring, garments, textile, beedi, small drug manufacturing, construction, matches & fireworks and passenger & goods transport etc and also small traders. Even the insurance premium is not spared from high taxation. Normal activities in many of these sectors have been affected and/or collapsed leading to massive job losses. Tens of thousands of people, including traders and small manufacturers are coming out in spontaneous protests countrywide to voice their opposition to GST regime that threatens the viability of their occupations pushing them to virtual collapse. CITU members and cadres all over the country have joined the surging protest actions in a big way demanding relief and protection of employment.

The Working Committee of CITU notes the negative impact of the GST regime on small manufacturers, traders and the lakhs of workers employed in these establishments and fully appreciates the participation of the CITU cadres in the protests to express their anger and disapproval of the pro-corporate GST regime. The GST regime has also resulted in enormously higher burden of taxation on many essential commodities including medicines, making them costlier. It has imposed heavier burden on the mass of the people. This calls the bluff on the loud claims of the Govt that GST will result in reduction of prices. The GST regime has also subsumed the welfare related cess on non-coal mining, beedi, cine-sector etc, thereby taking away the welfare/social security related rights of the workers in concerned sector.

CITU also notes with serious concern the serious implication of the GST regime in severely undermining the federal structure of the Constitution, ultimately abrogating substantially the taxation related rights of the state governments. It makes the state governments more dependent on the central government in respect of resource generation and management. This is going to have serious adverse impact on the democratic set-up owing to greater concentration of resources and power with the central govt, promoting authoritarian trends.
CITU demands that the already heavy burden of indirect tax on the common people should not be allowed to cross the pre-GST levels. Instead, it must be lowered substantially on all essential commodities and it should be zero on all essential medicines. The cess-funded welfare benefits for the workers of beedi, mining, cine and other sectors should continue unhindered. At the same time, in the context of the post-GST impact on the people and various sectors of the economy, the GST regime warrants a thorough review and reconsideration.

The working committee of CITU calls upon the working class and CITU unions in particular to extend full solidarity to the emerging protests against the GST regime and its disastrous impact on workers and small traders/manufacturers. It calls upon all its committees to actively intervene in channelizing the anger and unrest among the people in different parts of the country into struggles against the anti-people and anti-worker and pro-corporate policies of the government.

Read 15904 times