Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in theRajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday told media that the issue of the Goods and Services Tax Bill did not feature in the Prime Minister’s meeting with leaders of all major parties in Parliament ahead of the Budget session, which beginsg from February 23.
The meeting was called purportedly by the government to seek the cooperation of all parties for the smooth functioning of the Budget session in the backdrop of virtual washout of proceedings in the last two sessions of Parliament.
Talking to media after the meeting, Azad said, “The responsibility for the running of the Parliament wrests with the governments. We should be having discussions of key issues of national importance. The Centre is well aware of the issues that it needs to tackle on a priority basis, and must act accordingly. The GST did not come up for discussion.”
On Monday, the NDA government said that it will once again reach out to the Opposition Congress and other parties to evolve a consensus on passing the crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill during the Budget session of Parliament.
Union Minister of State for Coal Piyush Goyal told media on the sidelines of a Make in India seminar in Mumbai, that, “Our government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is always willing to talk, always willing to accommodate sensible ideas, always wanting to take forward the development of this country in the interest of 125 crore Indians. All our actions are to create consensus on GST. You will appreciate that every party, except one, is on board. Every party of different ideology is supporting it, and then there is some ulterior motive, why is one party trying to stall the whole process?”
Tuesday’s meeting was the first such convened by the Prime Minister. It reportedly is taking place in the wake of his government being repeatedly criticised for its alleged confrontationist approach and for failing to take other parties into confidence.