Jaitley holds talks with Azad on GST

Jaitley holds talks with Azad on GST

Jaitley holds talks with Azad on GST

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday approached Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad to thrash out differences on the much-delayed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.

The first formal meeting on GST in several months was dubbed “free and frank” by Azad, indicating some forward movement in sorting out differences on the indirect tax reform measure that has been hanging fire in the Rajya Sabha for more than a year.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and Congress deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma were also present at the 45-minute meeting that saw an exchange of suggestions to take the GST Bill forward.

The Congress will discuss the government’s suggestions with party President Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Likewise, Jaitley is expected to consult Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the suggestions made by the main Opposition.

“We put forth our apprehensions and suggestions. We will get back to our leadership and they will get back to their leadership and then we will meet again,” Azad told reporters after the meeting.

Jaitley said he would meet the Congress leaders once again next week as the government wanted to take forward the Bill through consensus.

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