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Confident of GST passage in Monsoon session: Gangwar

Government is confident of getting the much-delayed GST Bill passed in the upcoming Monsoon session of Parliament, beginning later this month, new Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar said today.

Confident of GST passage in Monsoon session: Gangwar
Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar

New Delhi

Gangwar, who was yesterday shifted from the Textile Ministry to the all-important Finance Ministry, assumed charge today along with Arjun Ram Meghwal, who has also been made a Minister of State in the Finance Ministry.

Before assuming charge, both of them met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The two took charge in the presence of Jaitley and senior ministry officials, including Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

Talking to reporters soon after, Gangwar said there was no real opposition by any political party to the Goods and Services (GST) Bill outside Parliament.

"The entire world... is looking at how India will act. I feel GST will certainly be passed by Parliament in the Monsoon session," he said. The session is scheduled to begin on July 18.

"The world is following India's growth story," said Gangwar, who had also served as a minister in the previous NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee from 1999 to 2004.

Asked about Congress' opposition to GST, he said, "No party opposes GST outside Parliament. All parties are for GST, but they put some hurdle or the other (in Parliament). I think all parties (will support) in getting GST passed in the monsoon session."

Prior to taking charge, Meghwal went to Jaitley's residence for a brief meeting.

Meghwal, an MBA from the University of Philippines, is known for cycling to Parliament during sessions and rode a bicyle yesterday as well while going for the swearing-in ceremony to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

A former bureaucrat-turned-politician, 61-year-old Meghwal was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 from Bikaner constituency. He was re-elected in 2014 elections.

Among other changes in yesterday's reshuffle, Jayant Sinha was shifted from the Ministry of Finance to Civil Aviation as a Minister of State.

Gangwar, 68, has won all Lok Sabha elections since 1991 except in 2009. A representative of the farming community of Kurmis that holds influence between Bareilly and Pilibhit, Gangwar's shift to the crucial Finance Ministry is important in view of the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh.

"India offers huge opportunity. I was in Textiles before this. Textile industry has got a very good package," Gangwar said while referring to the Rs 6,000-crore package approved by the Cabinet last month.

"The world is looking at us with a positive attitude," he added.

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