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Ready for special session to pass GST bill

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 Jan 2016 12:00 AM GMT

CHENI, Jan 3: The government is ready for a special session of Parliament to pass the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill that is now stuck in the Rajya Sabha, Union urban development minister M Venkaiah idu has said. The bill seeks to amend the Constitution to bring in a uniform rate of tax across the country for goods and services.

Talking to reporters after flagging off the first Kochi Metro Rail coach, manufactured four months ahead of schedule, at Alstom’s Sri City factory near here on Saturday, idu condemned Congress leader P Chidambaram’s comments blaming the government for the standoff over the bill. “I was taken aback by the comments of former fince minister Chidambaram yesterday when he said the economy is stuck in a groove and blamed the government for standoff on GST. This was not expected of a man of wisdom like Chidambaram. How can the fastest growing economy be described as stuck in a groove when this accomplishment is in the context of adverse global economic setting?”

Chidambaram’s statement that the government had not approached the opposition was wrong, he said. “We have met Congress leaders. We are ready to go the extra mile to take the opposition into confidence to get the bill passed and are ready for a special session if Congress wants that to discuss the bill again. It is the Congress which is stalling passage of the bill by obstructing Rajya Sabha.”

The view that tax rates should be decided by Parliament would not be a good idea, idu said. “If a situation like Cheni floods happens we cannot call Parliament to change tax. No one is supporting this view.”

Pointing out that GST would bring in a revolutiory transformation in the tax system, idu said it was surprising the authors of bill were now opposing it. “The bill was referred to a fince minister’s empowered committee more than a year ago. Its members from different parties studied it threadbare and visited 16countries to study the experience. This committee too has made its recommendation in favour of the bill.” He also said the Congress was dodgy on the important issue. “This kind of negativity has huge implications for future of our country. Opposition can take the government to task for omissions and commissions if any, but stalling Parliament and legislation for political ends will not benefit the people.” (Agencies)

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