Shrinking Congress party’s strength in Rajya Sabha will make GST happen: FM Jaitley


New Delhi: Hitting back at Congress party’s Trinity remarks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said Gods don’t vote in Parliament, and GST will happen as the strength of main opposition party is “shrinking” in the Rajya Sabha.

“Congress has said even Trinity of Gods cannot make GST happen soon. God’s don’t vote in Parliament but MPs do. Shrinking strength of Congress in the Rajya Sabha can make it happen,” the Finance Minister told reporters here.

He said Congress would loose on numbers in the next round of bi-annual elections for the Rajya Sabha and even the number

of their nominated supporters in the House would come down.

Congress leader Anand Sharma had recently said the April 1, 2016 deadline for rolling out Goods and Services Tax (GST)

would not be met “even if the trinity of Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh – descend on earth” because the government was yet

to complete preparatory work for the new indirect tax regime.

The Constitution Amendment bill to roll out GST is stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority of its own. The bill is being opposed by Congress although many other opposition parties are on board.

Congress is seeking three changes in the bill, including a constitutional cap on the GST rate, to support it.

Jaitley said most of the states are on board for GST and it is possible to implement GST even in the middle of the year.

“A part of obstructionism (on part of Congress) was to stop growth. Otherwise there cannot be volte face of this kind and secondly you cannot concoct those three reasons which never existed.

“There is a serious ideological gap between the high command and mid-command. There seems to have an ideological gap because the mid-command in the Congress always embarrassingly implemented the direction of the high command,” Jailtey said.

He added: “Ultimately, in the congress party high command has its way”.

The other two changes sought by Congress in the GST bill are removal of one per cent additional tax on inter-state transfer of goods and a Supreme Court judge headed dispute resolution panel.



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