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Freezing of GST rate: Congress shows first signs of melt down

Congress leader Anand Sharma said that his party wants an assurance from the Centre on ‘ring-fencing’ of the tax rate.

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Jul 9 2016 10:58AM | Updated Date: Jul 9 2016 10:58AM

Freezing of GST rate: Congress shows first signs of melt down

 There are signs of melt down in the Congress’s strong opposition to passing  of the Goods and Services Tax bill in the Parliament.

 
The party is open to discussing its demand of a cap on the tax rate in the Constitutional Amendment Bill.
 
GST is a significant indirect tax reform which is estimated to add 1-1.5 per cent to the country’s economic output.
 
Speaking to ‘The Indian Express’, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said that his party wants an assurance from the Centre on ‘ring-fencing’ of the tax rate.
 
Let government come out with options, he added.
 
It took the government one-and-a-half years to meet all Opposition parties on February 16 and after that there has been no meeting, he added.
 
In November last year, the main Opposition party had spelt out three explicit demands in the GST legislation: an 18 per cent cap to be mentioned in the Constitutional Amendment Bill, formation of a GST Disputes Settlement Authority and scrapping of the proposed one per cent additional tax that ends up favouring producer states.
 
However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has time and again said no to making the tax rate as part of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, stressing that this involves going to the legislature every time there is a rate alteration.