GST Bill: Opposition worried over loss of states’ revenue

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New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) With the government planning to bring the Goods and Services Tax bill next week, it reached out to the opposition parties on Thursday.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met members from the Left parties, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and Biju Janata Dal. The five parties have asked the Centre to ensure that there is a mechanism for allowing states to raise their revenue after the GST Bill comes in place.

“The GST will deprive states of their right to raise resources. There will be no scope for states to raise revenue,” Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury, who was there at the meeting with the finance minister, said.

“It is a serious issue. It will force the states to come to the Centre with a begging bowl,” the CPI-M leader said.

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Yechury said a solution to this issue needed to be found, and while it may not be there in the Bill, a provision must be made outside the Bill for giving states the right to raise revenue.

He also said that the BJP and Congress are proceeding with talks on the issue among themselves, excluding other parties.

He reiterated that the central government was shying away from convening an all-party meeting on the GST Bill.

“Why is government not calling an all-party meeting on the Goods and Services Tax Bill,” Yechury asked.

He said calling an all-party meeting on contentious bills has been a tradition which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government was deviating from.

“What are the real intentions of this government vis-a-vis the GST Bill,” Yechury asked.

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