As the House bid farewell to 53 Rajya Sabha members on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lamented that two legislation of immense benefit to the states was not passed by the Upper House in the current session.
Speaking in the House on the last day of the second part of the budget session, Modi said the retiring members would have felt much more satisfied if these two legislation — relating to Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) — had been passed by the Rajya Sabha during their tenure.
“You (Rajya Sabha MPs) represent the states, and the interest of your states is, and always should be, your prime concern. Now that you are retiring, perhaps you would always have this regret that if these two decisions had been taken during your tenure, then the states that you represent would have been very proud of you,” the PM said.
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“One of these was the GST… which, barring one or two states, would have benefited every state immensely. The second important legislation was CAMPA… which would have brought Rs 42,000 crore to the states. Almost every state would have got Rs 2,000-3,000 crore. This is not a small amount,” he said.
“The monsoon season will go, we will have to wait for another 4-6 months, but these two decisions will have to be taken. This will benefit the state governments directly,” the PM said.
Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Congress’s Anand Sharma, pointed out that the GST had been pending since the UPA government was in power, when the BJP was in opposition.
“National interest has to be served by the government as well as the Opposition. There has been bitterness in our political discourse… it needs to be overcome urgently,” Sharma said.