Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13 May said the Goods and Services Tax Bill should have been passed during the tenure of the 53 MPs who retired from the Rajya Sabha on 13 May.
Referring to the important GST Bill and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) Bill, Modi said members of the Upper House represent the states and their interests (of the states) should have been accorded top priority.
“It would have been better if the two bills had also been approved,” Modi said, noting that GST, was to be implemented from last month, but due to the non-cooperative attitude of the Congress it could not happen.
Immediately, the Congress benches started murmuring in disagreement and brought Congress MP Anand Sharma to his feet. He said, “Political opponents shouldn’t be treated as personal opponents … but only those with a different political ideology. Anyway it is the government’s job to see that is no bitterness in the House.”
Modi said, “If we had decided on the CAMPA legislation, the states would have got an additional Rs 42,000 cror,” or Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 crore per state. The bill would set up a national fund to promote afforestation and regeneration activities.”
“The amount given as compensation to the state for use of their forest land is not small,” Modi said, adding that availability of funds before the beginning of the monsoon season would have helped the states.