By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 16: Rubbishing State Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s contention that that the recent one per cent hike in VAT by the State Government will not affect the consumers in the State, the Assam Public Works (APW) has said that the VAT hike is going to affect the consumers directly.
Talking to newsmen here today, APW president Abhijit Sarma and general secretary Bitu Talukdar said: “What the State Fince Minister assumes is far from true. His contention that since every goods has MRP (maximum Retail Price) label on it a retailer can’t charge more than the MRP from consumers. Such a statement only smacks of the minister’s poor knowledge on MRP and that he does go for marketing. The fact is that a consumer is at liberty to bargain within the MRP that has a wide range giving him/her enough elbow space. With the hike in VAT, the retailers won’t give much scope to consumers for bargaining. Ultimately consumers are the ones who have to feel the pinch. This apart, the minister’s statement that no consumers should buy goods at prices more than the MRP is tantamount to giving retailers a free hand to sell their goods at MRP, not less than that. The reality is that since the retailers will have to pay the hiked VAT they have no way out but to give consumers a very limited range for bargaining.”
The two APW leaders have appealed to the government to rollback the VAT hike and restore the faith of the consumers of the State on it.
The two APW leaders further said: “The BJP has made it to Dispur with the promise of freeing the State administration from corruption. However, after coming to power, the party is doing something else. The new government has reposed its faith on those corrupt people who were behind the corruption raj in the State in the past 15-year rule by the Congress. Who in the BJP has the sacred ‘Gangajal’ that makes all corrupt people free from all sins just by sprinkling a drop or two?”
Meanwhile, the APW today proved that former AMTRON MD Dinesh Pegu was not telling the truth while clarifying that AMTRON had never outsourced any work to G-Net Infratech. The two APW leaders today produced a copy each of the work order and the bill given to G-Net Infratech by AMTRON before the jourlists.