Don’t oppose GST, Jaitley again urges Congress

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday reiterated his appeal to the Congress on the vexed Goods and Services Tax Bill issue, saying the preconditions being set by the main opposition party were against its own previous proposals on the tax.

“The (Congress) party’s preconditions are against what they themselves proposed on the GST Bill,” Jaitley told the Lok Sabha with the Congress MPs absent from the house while he presented his ministry’s demand for supplementary grants.

“GST was unquestionably a product of the collective wisdom of all political parties,” he told the house, adding that those who opposed reforms in the name of being “pro-poor” want to actually “perpetuate poverty” in India.

The GST Bill, which seeks to usher in a pan-Indian common market by reforming the country’s indirect tax regime, was passed in the Lok Sabha in May, but has been stuck in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA does not have a majority.

Meanwhile, the union finance ministry on Tuesday quashed reports of the draft law on GST being put up in the public domain, saying it will be finalised in a month’s time and then put up for comments from trade and industry.

“There was talk about draft model law being there in the public domain, but let me clarify the draft model law which has been put up by somebody on the public domain is not the official draft law, in fact we are still working on it,” Special Secretary, Revenue, Rashmi Verma said here while inaugurating industry chamber Assocham’s 53rd national conference on GST.

“It is going to take at least another month by which we will be able to finalise the draft law and once that is done, we will be putting it up in the public domain so that we are able to get your comments on the draft law,” she said.

Industry chamber FICCI along with Confederation of All India Traders, Assocham, the Confederation of Indian Industry and PHD Chamber is organising an interactive session here on Wednesday with Jaitley on the proposed GST, FICCI said in a statement.

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