New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the Goods and Services Tax Bill was a “very big and important step” towards getting the country rid of “tax terrorism”.
Participating in the debate in the Lok Sabha on the amendments to the GST Bill, Modi described GST as a “Great Step by Team India, Great Step towards Transformation and Great Step towards Transparency” and a big message of the uniform tax law will be that “consumer is the king”.
He strongly countered Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily’s contention that the NDA government had consulted only Rajya Sabha leaders on the uniform tax law and thereby reduced the Lok Sabha to a “junior partner”.
“Such description was uncalled for,” the Prime Minister said and maintained that when his government began consultations on the GST, he had met both Congress President Sonia Gandhi, a member of Lok Sabha, and Manmohan Singh, a Rajya Sabha member.
“One is a Lok Sabhe MP and other is from Rajya Sabha. I treated both the houses equally. Question of treating Lok Sabha as a junior house does not arise,” the Prime Minister said.
Earlier during the debate, Moily said, “It is as if this house (Lok Sabha) does not have the brains” and lamented that treasury bench floor managers only consulted members from the upper house.
Modi maintained that having seen the issues concerning GST as the Gujarat Chief Minister, he said now that he is the Prime Minister “I find it easy today to address these problems”.
He said it is true that a trust deficit had come to stay between states and the Centre earlier. However, he said now good relations have developed as members rose above party affiliations in parliament to talk about GST.
“There was a need to create a consensus between states and the Centre,” he said.