Opposition’s issues on GST can be easily addressed, says FM Arun Jaitley

NEW DELHI(PTI): Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said there is some “meeting ground” and issues raised by Congress on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill can be easily addressed provided there is willingness on part of the party.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

“What our stand on three issues (raised by Congress) could be, I have conveyed to senior responsible people of Congress party. The three issues can easily be overcome, provided there is willingness… But even the points they have raised, there is some meeting ground… I have to be hopeful on issues,” Jaitley told news channel India Today.

He further said that the three suggestions made by Congress “go contrary” to what former finance ministers P Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee had proposed.

“Those three suggestions are contrary to what Chidambaram signed on the file. These are contrary to what their Chief Ministers have said in Empowered Committee (of State Finance Ministers) meetings.”

“These are clearly afterthoughts in order to delay GST, I have no doubt in my mind,” Jaitley said.

Congress is opposed to the Goods and Services Tax Bill in its present form.

It has demanded that a cap of 18% should be put on GST and the rate should be entered in the Constitution Bill, dropping of a proposal to have a one per cent additional tax on inter-state movement of goods and has sought a redressal mechanism for resolving complaints of states.

The Constitution Amendment Bill to roll out GST is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA does not have majority of its own.

The government aims to roll out the proposed indirect tax regime from April, 2016.