Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given an unprecedented warm welcome in Israel and the US during his recent visits to these countries, and US President Donald Trump was not as bad as the media projected him, BJP MPs were told on Wednesday. Briefing party MPs in the first parliamentary party meeting of the BJP in the monsoon session, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said no other Prime Minister had received such a warm welcome in the US or Israel. Modi was the first Indian Prime Minister to travel to Israel.
“Sushmaji said Trump and the US First Lady personally took Modiji around and showed him Lincoln’s bedroom and his famous Gettysburg address and the desk on which he wrote it. She said that no other head of state had been shown such a warm gesture by a US President,” said a BJP MP, who was at the meeting. According to the MP, Swaraj also said that Trump was “not as bad” as projected by the media. Another source added that the External Affairs Minister also told the MPs that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had gone out of his way to make Modi feel comfortable. In the meeting, also attended by Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley described the GST as a “win- win” deal for all as it would expand the tax net, end “inspector raj” and bring down prices.
Pitching the GST as a measure beneficial for the country, Jaitley said prices of goods had come down between four to eight per cent since its rollout on July 1. Jaitley reiterated that the GST was in the interest of people and states and the latter will get 80 per cent of the revenue leading to more development. There was no longer tax on tax and the transport of goods across the country was unhindered now, Jaitley was quoted as saying by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, who briefed the media after the parliamentary board meeting.