After Land Bill agitation success, Cong sets its eyes on GST


Rahul Gandhi asks party leaders to educate and inform the public about the Congress’ stand

 After experiencing success in its fight against the land acquisition Bill, the Congress has decided to start an agitation against the goods and services tax (GST) Bill. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has directed Congress leaders, including Youth Congress activists, to educate and inform the public about the Congress’ stand on GST to counter the “misinformation” being spread by the National Democratic Alliance government. The party is hopeful that by adopting a strategy, similar to that of the land Bill, it would succeed in compelling the government to accede to its demands if the government wanted to get the Constitutional amendment Bill passed in Parliament.

Addressing a closed-door meeting of the national executive of the Youth Congress recently, Gandhi lauded its workers for their ‘dharnas’ and street protests against the land Bill. Gandhi told the Youth Congress members, “such struggles would continue”. He made it clear that the Congress would support the GST Bill only if the government accepts the changes proposed by it.

A party insider said it was important for the people to know that “Congress is not against GST but it wants changes in the existing law in order to benefit the public which includes consumers as well as shopkeepers”. Amrinder Singh Raja Brar, the Youth Congress president, said, “The Congress has concerns on certain issues — a cap of 18 per cent on the GST rate, a dispute redressal authority and scrapping of the one per cent additional tax. These are issues that will have direct impact on the public after all GST will be affecting everyone. So, we will be creating awareness about these issues.”

With battle lines clearly drawn, the GST Bill’s fate seems uncertain in the Winter session, should the government not consider the Congress’ demands.


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