Naidu hits out at Congress on GST Bill

Kolkata, Sep 12 (IANS) Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday hit out at the “adamant” attitude of the Congress for stalling the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the monsoon session of the parliament.

He also reiterated the government’s commitment to prepone the forthcoming winter session if the opposition agrees to deliberate over the Bill.

“If the opposition is willing, we can prepone the winter session and fastrack the process of getting approvals from the states also. There may be misunderstanding which can be discussed and removed. If they have some points they can discuss it in the house and not scatter it,” Naidu told mediapersons here on the sidelines of a workshop on Smart Cities.

He expressed happiness over the Trinamool Congress’ support to the Bill.

With the Congress going vocal recently criticising the government, the minister said the leading opposition party was making up for its lost ground.

“Earlier, they pulled the country backward and now in the opposition, they don’t want the country to move forward. They cannot refute a lost aground by making political speeches”, Naidu, also the parliamentary affairs minister, said.

According to Naidu, the GST Bill would bring in an integrated taxation structure and reduce the role of middlemen and corruption in the system.

He accused the Congress of recoil in its approach to GST.

“This bill was drafted by the Congress seven years back and lots of discussions on it have already taken place. And after the Lok Sabha passing it with two-third majority, still our Congress friends expressed reservations and asked to be referred to a select committee,” Naidu said.

“To accommodate the opposition point of view, we referred to the select committee which did its work – there is broad consensus – I don’t know why Congress friends are still opposing it,” he added.

He appealed to the Congress to “think in terms for the betterment of the country and the people”.

The GST Bill is now likely to be brought in the Rajya Sabha during the November-December winter session of the parliament. While the Lok Sabha has already passed the bill, it will have to again do so as a parliamentary committee has suggested amendments to it.

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