Showing no signs of budging from its demands on Goods and Service Tax (GST) bill, Digvijay Singh, Secretary of All India Congress Commitee (AICC) said that the party will support the Central Government bill in Rajya Sabha only if its demands are met by the Central Government.
“We are opposed to three provisions of the GST bill, including capping of taxation at 18 perc ent, states should not have the option of adding one percent and more state representation as they are giving-up on their taxation rights,” he said.
However, according to the AICC secretary, the BJP-led Central government did not seem serious about GST. “Had they been, they would have brought the bill in the budget session, they did not even attempt it. No meeting was done with Congress leadership to resolve the issue. Although Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says, by large the issue has been sorted out with Congress, if so then why has the bill been not brought out,” he asked.
According to Singh, subject to the demands put forward by the Congress party – only then it would support the passage of GST bill. “We know that the GST bill is important for the trade and industry. It has been on Congress agenda since 2007 when we proposed it, but then BJP leaders in the opposition refused to accept it,” he said.
However in reference to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s repeated assurance that he has secured consensus for GST, Digvijay said that the BJP leader was a master of double speak and ‘U’ turn. “The statement he (Jaitley) has made during his tenure as then Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, he has made absolute ‘U’ turn on it as finance minister. So you cannot trust Jaitley for his statement on (consensus) to the GST bill,” he said.