Congress Awaits Rahul Nod for Future Plan on GST


NEW DELHI: The textile shares bounced up by 11 per cent on Thursday just on a promise from Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar, who stated that he was convincing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to keep the sector in the lowest range of the Good and Services Tax. Not more than 12 per cent tax.

Many in the Opposition feel that the Government’s initiative to open talks with the Congress and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu’s announcement that a special session on the GST was in the offing (as also his unveiling of the 98 shortlisted Smart Cities), were precisely taken for the same reason: to boost up the flagging economy, ravaged further by the bleeding stock market.

The Opposition leaders, particularly from the Congress, point out “there’s a lesson to be learnt”. The jumping of the textile shares on “a mere assurance from the Ministry” shows that the demand to the GST law was justified. The Congress, in its dissent note, and in its talks with the Government, has called for a 18 per cent ceiling on the GST and is insisting that it be included as a clause in the Bill itself.

The Government has been against it.

In the formal and informal talks Jaitley had with Congress deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma; in Naidu’s talks with the Congress leaders in the two Houses, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, it was indicated that the Government was ready to accept some of the Congress suggestions as amendments.

However, it seems, the party’s vice-president Rahul Gandhi “is not convinced” that the Government may stick to its commitment given the demands from the State Governments.

The Congress also wants to avoid a situation where it may be isolated in Parliament in opposing the GST.


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