Widening the hiatus between the two Indias, says Sitaram Yechury

I demand that an assurance comes on this count and also a provision comes when we actually discuss the GST Bill, says Yechury.

By: Express News Service | Published:August 4, 2016 1:49 am
GST, GST bill, Rajya Sabha, sitaram, sitaram yechury, CPM, GST discussion, Rajya sabha discussion, goods and services tax, gst bill pass, parliament, congress, indian express news, GST bill news, GST bill updates, india news Yechury outside Parliament . PTI Photo

“I remember that it was very wonderful and very nice to hear my old friend, colleague, somebody with whom I had interacted for more than two decades, and somebody with whom I had many a contentious argument, and particularly on this issue as well, and it was wonderful to hear him once again. So, welcome back, and thank you very much for what you have said.

But I would have also like to add as a compliment, and not to be considered as an offence, that he sounds much better from the other side of the House instead of this side of the House. So, thank you very much for that…

“What will be the legitimate rights of the states? And, we are the council of states in this august House, how do we protect that right?

That is an important point that needs to be considered and, therefore, I would request the finance minister, when he replies today and more than that when the GST Bill actually comes up, to ensure that there is a flexibility of this nature, whereby the states do not end up actually coming with a begging bowl to the Centre and the concept of federalism of the states and the Centre is destroyed from our Constitution. That is something we cannot accept. So, I demand that an assurance comes on this count and also a provision comes when we actually discuss the GST Bill…

“In the last one year, the number of US dollar billionaires in our country is reported to have increased from 100 to 150. Wonderful, may that tribe increase. So, as your own saying goes, that is ‘Shining India’. What does the 2011 Economic Data Report show? ‘In 90 per cent of Indian families, the bread-earner earns less than Rs 10,000 a month.’ These are the two Indias you already have. On top of that, if you get a regressive tax regime, you are only widening the hiatus between the two Indias and that is not the spirit which our Constitution enjoins us to come to this House to legislate. Therefore, I think, it is absolutely necessary that instead of a revenue -neutral rate; you start considering what I would call a ‘Fair Revenue Rate’…

In our — let us say — indiscretion or hangover from colonial rule, we have inherited many practices from Westminster. We are trying to correct some of them now… One of the things that remain is the colour code. Westminster has a three-colour code. It has green, red and royal blue for the Queen, Her Majesty. Mercifully, we have eliminated that royal blue, by declaring ourselves a republic… but we continue with the green and red colour code. Lok Sabha is green and Rajya Sabha is red. In its indiscretion, if Lok Sabha passes any legislation, which, in our wisdom and consideration, we think is not in the interest of the people, we will show the red and stop it in the interest of the people in the country. That right can’t be denied.”

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