Congress vows to support ‘constructive, positive’ GST Bill

The Congress Party has said that they would support a constructive and positive Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill and questioned the ruling dispensation for making changes in the provisions of the same.
“We would certainly like a good, constructive and positive GST Bill to be passed in the interest of the nation, but not a bill with the kind of flaws that the NDA version of the bill has,” Congress leader Shashi Tharoor told. Stating that the Congress has been in favour of the GST Bill from the very beginning, Tharoor pointed out that the bone of contention here is the ‘unsatisfactory’ changes made in the provisions by the NDA regime. “So, we wanted a GST Bill that took into account our objections. I am sure that the government moves in that direction and we in turn move in that direction voting for it,” he said.
Ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reached out to opposition parties during an all-party meeting to ensure the passage of the GST Bill while advocating that national interest must be kept above all issues.
The Congress has three issues with the GST bill and wants the Centre to make necessary amendments to it. The party demands that a cap of 18 per cent be included in the GST Bill, deletion of the provision which allows imposition of one per cent tax by additional levy and an independent dispute mechanism. Apart from the Congress, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu has also raised objections on the GST Bill. The Jayalalithaa-led party has expressed its concern over the impact of tax that would have on the fiscal autonomy of the states and the huge permanent revenue loss it might incur.
The Monsoon Session of Parliament will have 20 working days and will conclude on the 12th of next month.
A total of 25 bills, including the crucial GST Bill, are expected to come up for consideration and passage during the session.

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