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Confident of GST Bill passage in monsoon session: Jaitley

Exuding confidence in getting the GST Bill passed in the upcoming monsoon session, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said regional parties, including UPA allies like DMK and NCP, are all making strong noises in support of the tax legislation.

Confident of GST Bill passage in monsoon session: Jaitley
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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

New Delhi

Stating that it would be extremely difficult for the Congress to take a contrarian view, he said if there is no consensus, the only alternative is a parliamentary vote. “I am reasonably confident because... every political party, including the Congress, favours the GST. In fact, the Congress should have had the vision to support it more aggressively because they could claim the original authorship of the idea,” Jaitley said when asked if he was confident of passing the Bill in the monsoon session during an interaction with members of Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC). 

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which has been approved by the Lok Sabha, is pending in the Rajya Sabha because of stiff resistance by the Congress, the largest party in the House, over a few proposals. “I hope... the Congress party would revisit its position. I certainly would be keeping the discussions with them on. I always said my preference is a consensus must emerge because all state governments across political complexion has to implement it and therefore, consensus is the better way,” Jaitley said.

“And I do hope it moves in that direction. If consensus does not emerge, then the only other alternative is the parliamentary process. We will ask the Rajya Sabha and take a view on it.” 

The Congress is opposing the bill in the current form, demanding that a cap on GST rate be included in the Constitution Amendment Bill. The other two changes sought are removal of one per cent additional tax on inter-state transfer of goods and a Supreme Court judge-headed dispute resolution panel.

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