On Saturday, in a major decision, the GST council announced that it would be increasing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on mobile phones from 12% to 18%. This move was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a press conference. Speaking on the increase, RJD's Manoj Jha stated that it contradicted the government's claim of making mobile phones accessible across class groups.
"This is the government that says mobiles are now accessible across the country in every household. They say the poorest man can now afford mobiles. The middle class and lower middle class too. But 12-18% increase, I do not understand what economics would have made them do this," said Manoj Jha.
The RJD leader also addressed the Coronavirus outbreak in the country, as per the latest figures put out by the Union Ministry of Health, the total number of positive cases in the country stands at 93. "This responsibility is not only on the government, but it is also ours. The government cannot monitor each and every person. There are two ways to deal with the situation, first is to not panic, second is to do every single precautionary measure religiously," said Manoj Jha.
He also added that the government needed to engage in a 'hand-holding' sort of method with the state Chief Ministers in tackling the Coronavirus epidemic. "The government should just provide masks and sanitizers for free to the public. This is the basic thing that they can do. I appeal to the Centre to collaborate with the State governments on this."
Amid the rising Coronavirus scare, the Central Government on Saturday declared the virus spread as a 'notified disaster' in order to provide assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). PM Modi has also proposed that the SAARC countries could discuss the ways, via video conferencing, to keep citizens healthy. In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister urged South Asian nations to leave “no stone unturned” in the fight against the deadly virus ensuring the wellness of citizens.