Cong not averse to GST provided Govt brings "good" legislation

Last Updated 13 August 2015, 16:30 IST

Amid talk of convening a special session of Parliament for enacting a GST law, Congress today said it was not averse to cooperate provided government brought a "good" legislation and not one "riddled with problems and issues".

"We want a good GST, certainly not this GST riddled with problems and issues... There is growing support of the Congress' objections on GST, many corporates strongly support our objections", former Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters, Chidambaram said Congress had some fundamental concerns on the draft bill and "I don't see reason why party will not cooperate".

Noting that it was his party which had authored the GST, he said "Let the Government respond to our demand for a discussion and arrive at the consensus on the fundamental objections that we have raised. If they meet us and come to the consensus ....I don't see reason why party will not cooperate".

At the outset, he made it clear that he could not speak for the Congress Parliamentary Party.

Chidambaram's remarks are significant as they came on a day when the Government appeared to be keeping its options open on convening a special session of Parliament for enacting the GST law on which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley declared that it was determined to stick to the rollout deadline of April 1, 2016.

Although the Monsoon Session ended today, the government has decided against proroguing it to keep the possibility open for convening a special session at short notice.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, that seeks to replace all indirect taxes with a uniform levy, has already been approved by the Lok Sabha but could not be taken up in the Upper House because of opposition by the Congress and Left parties.

Indirect tax reform GST proposes to create an uniform tax rate across the country by subsuming excise, service tax and other local levies. GST is estimated to boost India's GDP by 1-2 per cent.

(Published 13 August 2015, 16:30 IST)

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