NDA, Congress refuse to blink first on GST bill

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December 31, 2015

New Delhi: Neither the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government nor the Congress party is ready to blink on the issue of passing the constitution amendment bill to roll out the goods and services tax (GST).

A file photo of finance minister Arun Jaitley. Photo: PTI

December 31, 2015

New Delhi: Neither the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government nor the Congress party is ready to blink on the issue of passing the constitution amendment bill to roll out the goods and services tax (GST).

A file photo of finance minister Arun Jaitley. Photo: PTI

While the Congress said on Wednesday that it has been open to a dialogue with the government on the issue and the latter should look into its demands, finance minister Arun Jaitley hit out, saying the Congress’ shrinking presence in the Rajya Sabha will make GST happen.

“Congress has said even trinity of gods cannot make GST happen soon. Gods don’t vote in Parliament but MPs do. Shrinking strength of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha can make it happen,” Jaitley said, adding that the party would lose on numbers in the next round of bi-annual elections for the Rajya Sabha.

Jaitley’s comment came in response to an earlier statement by Congress leader Anand Sharma who said that the 1 April deadline for rolling out GST will not be met “even if the trinity of gods—Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh—descend on earth”.

 “They are using it as a smokescreen to hide their failure in managing the economy. When for five years, the BJP blocked the GST not for any valid reason, we have given our reasons and been open to a dialogue so that the global benchmarks on GST are fully met,” Sharma said.

The Congress wants the government to do away with a proposed additional 1% levy on the supply of goods that will be levied over and above GST and is considered distortionary; capping of the GST rate at 18% and its inclusion in the constitution amendment bill, and the creation of an independent dispute resolution mechanism.


Courtesy: PTI