Congress used as ‘smoke screen’, real opposition within govt: Jairam Ramesh on GST

Jairam Ramesh also questioned the credibility of the current GDP growth figure of 7.6 per cent, claiming that nobody believes these numbers as they are "suspicious".

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: May 11, 2016 6:29 pm
Congress GST, GST Congress, Congress GST Bill, GST bill rajya sabha, GST parliament Jairam Ramesh also questioned the credibility of the current GDP growth figure of 7.6 per cent, claiming that nobody believes these numbers as they are “suspicious”. (Source: PTI)

Congress on Wednesday claimed in the Rajya Sabha that the “real opposition” to the long-pending GST bill was coming from within the government and that the main opposition was ready to give full support to it provided its three key recommendations are accepted.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also questioned the credibility of the current GDP growth figure of 7.6 per cent, claiming that nobody believes these numbers as they are “suspicious”.

The former minister asked the government to come out with “credible” GDP figures and suggested setting up a committee under the chairmanship of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

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He also raked up the issue of alleged irregularities by Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) in its KG basin gas project and demanded a probe into it, while asking the government not be selective in investigating NPA cases.

Participating in a debate on the Finance Bill, Ramesh harped on ‘3 Gs’ — GST, GDP and Gas (of GSPC).

The Congress member insisted that his party wants GST and that it was ready to give full support to the government if its three suggestions are incorporated in the bill.

“We have three suggestions. One is setting up of independent committee to adjudicate disputes, elimination of one per cent tax and introduction of capping …If consensus on these three is arrived, we are ready to support,” he said.

The GST bill, which proposes to overhaul the indirect tax regime, has been pending in the Rajya Sabha for a number
of years because of resistance mainly by the Congress which wants changes in it.

On capping upper limit for GST, Ramesh said the government says this cannot be accepted as there is no provision in the Constitution for this purpose. But the Article 276 (2) provides for capping and “with creative use of language” the government can accommodate.

Referring to a media report that said some section in the government believes that GST is undesirable, the former Minister said, “the real opposition to GST is not coming from the Congress, it is coming from within the government.”

He attacked the government for using Congress as “smoke screen” for the current situation of GST.

Speaking about GDP growth figures, Ramesh said today nobody believes India’s GDP figures. “Chief Economic Advisor, RBI Governor, London economists and WallStreet Journal do not believe our GDP numbers,” he claimed.

“Nobody is denying that we are having high growth rate. But the number put on GDP are highly suspicious. It (GDP growth) is somewhere between 5.9 per cent and 6.5 per cent and not 7.5 per cent,” he said.

Stating that India is growing and the country should grow much faster, Ramesh said, “For the first time, the credibility of GDP numbers are questioned. It has served the government purpose. I urge the government to pause a bit and come out with credible set of figures.”

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  1. T
    TIHAEwale
    May 11, 2016 at 2:40 pm
    Jairam Ramesh is correct that BJP is not sincere in getting GST ped when all that Congress has asked is to put a cap on tax to 18%
    Reply
  2. A
    avd
    May 11, 2016 at 1:21 pm
    More poverty and Illiteracy of Indian voters are ets of all Political Parties as such one can not expect any creditable change in Indian Politics in near future.Thetefore Common man/Aam Aadmi has to suffer in the hands of Politicians like Arvind Kejriwal and Co though they talk of Aam Aadmi party but it is for coming to power by fooling Aam aadmi as done by other PARTIES .Progress or Development of India/Improving Indian economy is against Congress Party's principle as it may lead to Corruption/Congress Mukt Bharat which it does not want so it blocks Proper functioning of both houses of Parliament.
    Reply
  3. W
    WG CDR
    May 11, 2016 at 4:42 pm
    N 1%? Is it gold excise. Independent committee meaning Tribunal-yes. Capping max of tax rate, how can hands of governance be tied? Both States and center
    Reply
  4. P
    Prateek Agrawal
    May 12, 2016 at 10:10 am
    He is right!! BJP is more interested in winning state elections by raking up issues like Agusta in parliament while they must be dealt with by bureaucracy (even in that they have failed)!! lt;br/gt;Never seen such a selfish and self-profit oriented party before!! lt;br/gt;Even in BJP ruled state of MP, they are more interested in conducting sinhasth and advertising lavishly for it (in RSS affiliated websites and newspapers)!! lt;br/gt;Shame on manuwadi and sanghwadi govt!
    Reply