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New Delhi,Manan Kumar: The amended goods and services tax (GST) Bill prepared by the select committee could not move beyond the stage of re-introduction in the Rajya Sabha with Congress demanding action in Lalit Modi and Vyapam scam and forcing the House to be adjourned.
Amid sloganeering, Anand Sharma of Congress said the government cannot re-introduce the GST like this as it has not gone to the business advisory committee. The pandemonium led the deputy chairman to adjourn the House for the day at 2:20 pm.
Jaitley in a direct attack, blamed the Congress for going back on its word, as in the last session there was an understanding that the GST would be cleared in the monsoon session.
“Unfortunately, the Congress is in a self-destruct mode, we do not grudge that. But in the process, it wants not only to disrupt India’s Parliament but also create obstacles in the path of national growth. There is consensus that it will boost the GDP but Congress for some reason does not want that. Its policies were a liability on the economy of this country when the Congress was in government. It continues to be a liability on the economy of this country even when it is opposition,”Jaitley said.
Countering Jaitley, Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the BJP is trying to shift the blame for its failures on Congress.
“We are happy that Arun Jaitley finds GST of public purpose after years of opposition by the BJP, including by the then chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi…GST should come, but the government was introducing it without any discussion in the Business Advisory Committee,” said Singhvi.
Reading out dip in figures of industrial output from 5.7% in May, 2014 to 2.7% in May, 2015, Singhvi said the BJP is trying to shift the blame of its economic failures on the Congress and is trying to create confusion through GST.
The GST Bill already passed by the Lok Sabha awaits passage in the Rajya Sabha to pave way for the biggest revenue shake-up since Independence in 1947 by introducing uniform tax regime for both goods and services throughout the country from next year.
The Modi government is hard pressed to introduced the GST, originally envisaged by the Congress in 2006 and introduced by it in 2011, as it is not only expected to boost the GDP by 2 percentage points but is also slated to bring down prices by reducing double taxation burden and end harassment of trading community.
The BJP government is all prepared to re-introduce the GST tomorrow, Jaitley said.
“The government along with all parties who are supporting the GST is determined to pursue this and will take all correct measures – politically and constitutionally — to achieve this goal. We will try every alternative mechanism,” added Jaitley.