After the Congress on Thursday said it will not attend the launch of the Goods and Service Tax at Parliament on Friday midnight, other parties also announced their decision to boycott the event.

Communist Party of India leader D Raja said Left parties will not be attending the Parliament programme, keeping in mind the protests by small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs, weavers, traders and informal sector workers against the way the new tax regime was being implemented, PTI reported.

“There are serious apprehensions in the minds of people over the GST’s implementation,” the Rajya Sabha MP said. “We cannot be celebrating when people are agitating.”

DMK and RJD to skip the rollout

Among other parties boycotting the GST launch are the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. “The government is trying to gain publicity for implementing a new tax law,” DMK Spokesperson TKS Elangovan told IANS. “Nobody knows how the GST is going to impact trade, business or the common man.”

Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi told ANI about his party’s decision earlier on Thursday, a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that her Trinamool Congress party will be giving the mega event a miss as the tax was “another epic blunder by the Centre”.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said there should be no politics over the GST launch as all decisions had been made by the GST Council.

What is the GST?

GST is expected to bring about a uniform system of indirect taxation and will replace various taxes levied by the central and state governments as well as local authorities. Barring electricity, real estate and alcohol, GST will be collected on everything – from matchboxes to gold.

All states and seven Union territories, except Jammu and Kashmir, had agreed to give up their rights to impose sales tax on goods, while the Centre surrendered its right to impose excise and services taxes. With the introduction of GST, they will each receive a share of the GST collected nationally.