FM Arun Jaitley Reaches out to the Opposition to Discuss GST Bill

Jaitley also warned the opposition that some of their suggestions might do more damage than good to the system.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the release of the poster for 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley offered to discuss with Congress, the changes in the GST bill but counselled the party to reconsider its suggestions. He said that some of the suggestions can “damage” the system much more than it can benefit.

The move comes as the government needs Parliament approval for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the winter session beginning Thursday.

We are reaching out to them, we are willing to discuss with them because some of these suggestions may not necessarily be in the larger interest of the GST structure.
Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister

Jaitley’s comments came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed his government’s commitment to rolling out the GST among the slew of reform measures being pursued by the Centre.

The Finance Minister also said that those stalling reforms should realise that space for obsolete thinking is now shrinking and those who support reforms is much bigger than those who obstruct.

The wisdom which dawned on my friends in the Congress party had not dawned on them when Pranab Mukherjee introduced the GST (in 2011). It did not dawn on them when (the then Finance Minister) P Chidambaram accepted the Standing Committee recommendations but to come out with the preposterous suggestion that tariff must be mentioned in the Constitution document so that in a given exigency if tariff has to be altered, you need a two-third majority in both houses of Parliament and has to go to each of the states.
Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister

The Congress had stalled passage of the GST Bill in the last session of Parliament over its demand that a revenue-neutral rate not higher than 18 per cent be mentioned in the Constitution Amendment bill.

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