Govt shifting blame on bills: Yashwant

The states are demanding that the Centre should compensate them for the revenue loss.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2012 4:44 pm

Rejecting the charge of delaying key reforms bills,Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance Yashwant Sinha has hit back at the government,saying it was only shifting the blame as it had failed to get a number of such legislations passed.

Sinha asserted that his committee will submit the report on Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill,which would usher in a new regime of indirect taxes,during the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament which is expected to start early next

month.

“We are speeding up the process (of scrutinising the financial sector bills),” he said.

Referring to the GST bill,he said the Standing Committee is meeting every week to examine the bill which will subsume various levies like excise,service tax and states tax,like value-added tax,entry tax and purchase tax.

“There are a number of serious issues which will have to be considered very very carefully by the Standing Committee,” said the former Finance Minister about the Constitution Amendment Bill.

“With the report on the GST Bill,we would have finished with all the pending legislations of the pre-budget era. Now the ball is in the court of the government,” said the senior BJP leader.

He rejected the government charge of delays in submission of reports by the Standing Committee on Finance and contended that his panel had given its views on nine bills but none of these had become the law yet.

“The Standing Committee on Finance has returned to the government nine bills,which are pending with the government for various lengths of time. So anyone who believes that if we had given the report on GST earlier then GST would have been

passed earlier is wrong,” Yashwant Sinha added.

The nine bills,on which the Standing Committee has submitted reports,include the Insurance Bill,Pension Funds Bill,Companies Bill and Direct Taxes Code Bill. Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily had alleged last week that the NDA was stalling economic reforms through the Standing Committee headed by Sinha.

“Main opposition political formation (NDA)… is out to oppose all the reform initiatives and simultaneously create negative canards against the Government,” Moily had alleged.

The Union Minister referred to the delay in submission of report on DTC bill and also said,“The Goods and Services Tax Bill is also under consideration of empowered group of state finance ministers,headed by BJP Finance Minister from Bihar Sushil Modi”.

The negotiations on GST between the empowered committee and the Centre have failed to make progress because of differences over issue of Central Sales Tax (CST) compensation.

The states are demanding that the Centre should compensate them for the revenue loss on account of phase out of the levy.

The Centre is working on the IT platform for rolling out of GST. The structure of GST Network (GSTN) has been approved by the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers.

Former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had in Budget said that the GSTN would be set up as a National Information Utility and become operational by August 2012.

The Centre is in the process of harmonising the central excise duty and Service Tax and has set up a study group to look into the possibility of a Common Tax Code (CTC) for the two levy. The group is expected to submit its report by September

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