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‘Govt likely to push for GST vote in RS’

Arun Jaitley has charged Congress with opposing Goods and Services Tax Bill only for political reasons

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: May 15 2016 10:52AM | Updated Date: May 15 2016 10:52AM

‘Govt likely to push for GST vote in RS’

 Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has charged the Congress with opposing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill only for political reasons and said that if such opposition continues, government will have no alternative other than putting the draft legislation for voting in the Rajya Sabha.

"Only one political party, the Congress (is opposing). And that's a political opposition. That's not an ideological opposition," Jaitley told All India Radio in an interview. 
He said, "I am trying my best to talk to them, so that they can come around. And if they don't, then, we will have no option but to put it to vote." 
The crucial draft legislation that seeks to harmonise the entire system of taxation by subsuming all indirect taxes under one regime was passed by the Lok Sabha on May 6, 2015 and is pending in the Rajya Sabha since then.
The Congress and other opposition parties that have the numerical advantage in the upper house have been stalling passage of the GST bill.
Bill seeks to ensure that a GST Council will recommend rates of tax, period of levy of additional tax, principles of supply and special provisions to certain states. The GST Council will consist of the Union Finance Minister, Union Minister of State for Revenue, and state Finance Ministers.
In his interview to All India Radio, Jaitley said India can achieve even better growth rate.
"I think the first important factor, which is beyond our control, is that the world starts growing faster. So if, global tail winds support us, then our ability to grow faster will be there. But that is something not in our control," he said. 
He said that second important factor is oil and commodity prices must remain at a moderate level. "The present regime suits us, because as net buyers, we are buying at a cheaper price and therefore, we are saving a lot of money. The third important factor is that India's private sector has to get more active." 
Replying to a question on Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, Jaitley  said the government is not cutting subsidies but only rationalising them as the subsidies should reach the poor only.