KOCHI: Preferring to remain noncommittal on the issue of hartals, Union Minister Smriti Irani said the BJP is committed to protecting the fundamental rights assured by the Constitution, which ensures the freedom to assemble and speak out as long as they upholds the law. “I can only say the BJP is committed to protecting the fundamental rights of the individuals.
If you have any suggestions on governance, we are ready to accept them,” she said while replying to Jyothi Aswani, a business woman in Kochi, while interacting with representatives of various sectors at the Bhart Ke Mann Ki Baat programme organised by BJP at Hotel Flora at Nedumbassery on Tuesday. Jyothi expressed the concerns of the business community on hartals pointing out the state had witnessed 98 hartals in 2018. Smriti Irani said the BJP was reaching out to the people to amalgamate ideas to be incorporated in the party’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections.
“The BJP has launched a drive on February 3 where in we are reaching out to the citizens at 7,500 destinations across the country so that we can collect 10 crore suggestions to strengthen the manifesto. The aim is to ensure the people’s aspirations are reflected in the manifesto,” she said. The minister said the GST regime has removed the hidden elements of taxation and removed all essentials from the tax net. There was a 2 per cent tax on rice in the earlier regime which has been removed.
Even businessmen who have an annual turnover above `1.5 crore stand to benefit as the tax on raw materials is credited back to them. The GST on enterprises with a turn over below `1.5 crore has been fixed at 2 per cent and the GST Council has recommended to reduce it further to 1 per cent, she said. BJP leaders A N Radhakrishnan, N K Mohandas, Nedumbassery Ravi and P Sivasankaran were present on the occasion.