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Finance Minister meets Congress leaders on GST

Ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament, Arun Jaitley meets Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Jul 15 2016 3:32PM | Updated Date: Jul 15 2016 3:52PM

Finance Minister meets Congress leaders on GST

To persuade the opposition to approve the national sales tax or Goods and Services Tax (GST), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday met the top leaders of the Congress as parliament session set to begin from Monday.


Now, the tax reform has pride of place on the government's agenda and the monsoon session has only 20 working days for the approval of GST.


Jaitley has said the GST will add up to two percentage points to economic growth once it replaces a tangle of state and central levies.


Jaitley and new Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar have together been working on the Congress by negotiating changes with Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma and in this regard they all met at Parliament on Friday. 


It is worth mentioning that the GST proposal has cleared the Lok Sabha, but is stalled in the Rajya Sabha, where the Congress still has the most seats and the government is trying to clear GST bill during this this monsoon session.


Sources claimed that the Congress has been seeking three major changes including government to cap the GST rate at less than 20 percent and state the limit in a constitutional amendment. But the government says this means each time the rate has to be revised, the constitution would have to be amended again. However, the Congress has reportedly compromised on this point.


The third big demand is that the Finance Minister enlarge the powers of a council to resolve disputes on revenue-sharing between states.