Rebuts P Chidambaram’s criticism and alleges Congress stalled the process in Parliament in last two sessions.
Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Venkaiah Naidu said that the government is ready to hold a special session of the Parliament to pass the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, and to walk the extra mile to take the opposition on board to build a new resurgent India.
Flagging off the first set of Metro rolling stock for Kochi Metro Rail project, he said that the passage of GST Bill during the coming Budget session can be the first positive assertion of this collective will for building a new India. He sought the Congress party to give away the negativity it showed in 2015 and come out with positive approach to build the nation in the new year. The Constitution Amendment Bill to roll out GST has been stuck in theRajya Sabha owing to the protest by the main opposition party, while the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) does not have the majority to pass the bill.
Commenting on the criticism of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram putting the onus of the standoff on the government, Naidu said that it was the Congress which did not allow the passage of the bill and the opposition was dodgy on such an important issue. Parliament was virtually made dysfunctional during the Monsoon and Wnter sessions of last year and GST Bill was the major victim of this negativity. Introduction of GST would make a substantial difference to the way business is done in India. “Unfortunately, the original authors of this major reform did not see the urgency in making this a reality,” he added.
Detailing on the government’s efforts in 2015, he said that it has fixed problems of urban India with some well thought out initiatives including Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission. In 2015, the government also discussed and decided on streamlining approvals for construction projects in Urban areas by improving the ease of doing business.
In new year 2016, urban local bodies, states and the Union Government need to walk the talk by collectively striving for effective implementation of urban projects, he said, flagging off the first set of rolling stock.
Alstom was awarded a contract to supply 25 state-of-the-art Metropolis train sets to Kochi Metro. As per the contract, Alstom is responsible for the design, manufacturing, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the standard track gauge trains. Each train will be composed of 3 cars, about 65 m long and with a capacity to carry up to 975 passengers, said Alstom.