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Govt criticises Congress for giving dissent note on GST bill

The government on Wednesday criticised Congress for giving a dissent note in the Select Committee on GST, saying it is against its own bill and Chief Ministers and hoped the opposition party will reconsider its "irresponsible" decision.



New Delhi: The government on Wednesday criticised Congress for giving a dissent note in the Select Committee on GST, saying it is against its own bill and Chief Ministers and hoped the opposition party will reconsider its "irresponsible" decision.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will go ahead with the GST legislation in Parliament that seeks to create a simplified tax structure across the country which is "revolutionary".

He said the government will try and build a consensus on the legislation and explain the rationale and reasoning to various parties including Congress.

"It is hardly a dissent note on the bill, it is a dissent against the Congress party's own proposals which were originally given. Congress MPs are giving a dissent against the suggestions made by their own Chief Ministers," he said.

Jaitley said Congress has given its dissent note against the wish of traders who are demanding implementation of GST due to which the country's GDP will increase.

"I hope that the Congress party will reconsider its irresponsible decision," he said, noting that he has never seen a political party which opposes its own legislation and gives a dissent note against suggestions given by its own Chief Ministers and state governments.

Asked if the government was hopeful of getting the bill passed, the Finance Minister said, "I am hopeful and therefore, we are going to go ahead with the GST legislation. We will still try and build consensus and explain the rationale and reasoning as far as Congress is concerned."

He went on to say that if Congress opposes this bill, "then the country will oppose Congress. Every citizen and trader in the country will oppose Congress".

Jaitley said, "Congress is against the country's progress...This it has established by giving this dissent note."

He noted that there was a consensus on this legislation after a lot of discussion and the government will try and talk to all parties to get this legislation passed.

The Select Committee of Rajya Sabha today placed the report of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) before the House.

 Jaitley said the government would like the debate on this "revolutionary" change in the tax structure of the country to start in the House and the Constitution Amendment Bill be passed.

He said this proposed law was first suggested in 2006 and the then UPA government introduced this bill and after repeated discussions Congress Chief Ministers gave their suggestions.

The Finance Minister said this bill was drafted after discussions with all. The Congress Finance Ministers in the past have made references on suggestions given by previous select committees, he said.

On the suggestion to keep alcohol out of the purview of the bill, he said it was a 100 percent suggestion of the Congress Chief Ministers.

"This was there in their own bill also and the suggestions given are against their own bill, against the recommendations given by their own Chief Ministers before the Standing Committee," he said.

Jaitley said that the GST law will bring a single- taxation system in the country and it will ensure that all goods and services were transferred in the entire country at the same tax structure.

"Tax evasion will reduce and people will benefit and the country's GDP will rise by 1 to 1.5 percent due to the bill," he said, accusing Congress of not wanting the country's progress and its GDP to grow.

 

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