Naidu meets Sonia, Manmohan; discusses GST

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New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) Hinting at an early budget session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh seeking cooperation on the early passage of GST and Real Estate Bills.

“Met Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh over Goods and Services Tax (GST) issue. They had raised some issues which have been addressed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley,” Naidu told media persons after the meeting.

“The Congress president assured to get back after holding internal discussion with her party leaders on the issues,” he added.

Sources said that during the meeting, Naidu told the Congress leaders that the government was ready to advance the Budget Session of parliament if the opposition party comes on board and other parties agree to it.

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Naidu also conveyed the government’s views on the concerns raised by the the Congress on the GST, sources said.

The Congress demands on the GST bill include a cap on the GST rate at 18 percent, deletion of the provision for one percent tax by additional levy and an independent dispute-resolution mechanism.

BJP sources also said that Naidu sought Congress’s cooperation on the Real Estate Bill too, saying the government has already accepted most of the recommendations of the Select Committee.

Both the bills could not be passed during the Winter Session of parliament due to disruption of proceedings over various issues.

The GST Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in May 2015. The bill is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, where the government does not have a majority.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently hoped that the GST Bill will be passed during parliament’s Budget Session beginning next month.

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