Government has to consult opposition parties for smooth GST bill passage : Congress



Randeep Surjewala
Randeep Surjewala

The GST imbroglio does not seem to end. Now , the Congress party has  put the onus of ensuring passage of the GST Bill on the Modi government, saying it is yet to revert to the opposition parties on their concerns. “Ball is in their court. Government has to take a call and revert to opposition parties as to how GST Bill does not become a kill-GST Bill but rather remains an effective GST Bill,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters at a press conference.

He said the Congress has put forward three “concrete” points for consideration of the government but it is yet to get a reply. In an apparent reference to the Arvind Subramanian panel suggestions, the Congress spokesperson said, “Government has also finally relented and has seen the voice of the reason.” “Congress party has clearly stated that GST is a Bill that was conceived and was presented to Parliament and the nation by the Congress party,” Surjewala said.

The government has listed the goods and services tax (GST) bill for consideration in the Rajya Sabha in the current week, without securing a commitment from the Congress, whose support is essential for the passage of the legislation that requires a constitutional amendment. The Government is awaiting the return of Congress president Sonia Gandhi from the US , where she had gone for routine medical check- up to discuss the way forward.The  Government has made it clear that GST will not be passed without having the consent of the Congress party.

The bill seeks to bring all goods and services under a uniform tax regime but has been stuck in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA is in a minority, on some key points. The Lok Sabha has passed the bill.