Ready to cooperate on GST, but want cap on tax: Congress

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his party is ready to “cooperate” with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, but his party has some “differences” and wants a cap on the tax.

“We (Congress) are ready to cooperate with the BJP over GST. But we have our differences. We want a cap on tax, and do not want the poor in the country to be taxed,” Gandhi told media outside the Parliament House.

Gandhi added that his party was the one which introduced GST draft legislation earlier.

Gandhi made the comments when he was asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul himself and Manmohan Singh to meet over tea on Friday evening, with the GST on the agenda.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Friday the central government is seeking a consensus on the issue of levy of one percent additional tax for the proposed goods and services tax (GST).

“There are many opinions on the one percent tax on GST…states have another perspective on this,” Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of an event here by the Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion.

“We have to find a consensus on this. The finance minister has said we are in continuous consultations, particularly with opposition parties and are willing to consider any reasonable suggections,” Sinha said, adding that the situation arrived at this point was the result of continuous discussions with states and other stakeholders.

The central government has set the target for GST implementation from April next year, but the bill is currently stuck in parliament, especially over the cabinet’s nod to some changes recommended by a parliamentary panel, notably an extra one percent levy to compensate the states for potential tax losses.

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