Weeks before Parliament convenes for the second leg of the budget session, during which the government will make another bid to get legislation related to the goods and services tax (GST) passed, finance ministry Arun Jaitley questioned the extent to which the Rajya Sabha can stand in the way of policy change.
The constitutional amendment bill to facilitate GST has been passed in the Lok Sabha but is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling coalition is outnumbered.
The second leg of budget session is scheduled to begin on April 25. Being a constitutional amendment bill, the legislation needs to be passed by a two-thirds majority. Congress has raised three key conditions, including a low GST rate of 18% that's specified in the constitutional amendment bill, which is not acceptable to the government.
Now that seems a little difficult," Jaitley said, adding that the government is also keen on a reasonable GST rate.
"I have no problem with the rate," he said but questioned where the rate should be prescribed. Putting a cap on GST rate in the constitutional bill will make changes hard as that will in turn require a constitutional amendment. Instead, this should be left to the GST Council.