Another face-off between government and opposition could be seen in Parliament with Congress today sticking to its demand for referring the long pending Goods and Services Taxes bill to the Standing Committee for scrutiny.
There have been many changes in the new bill brought up for consideration by the government in the Lok Sabha and therefore, it was incumbent that it be sent to the Standing Committee, Party spokesperson Sushmita Dev told reporters.
At the same time, Dev made it clear that her party was not against the bill which was their baby, but it was against the procedure being adopted.
“GST is our baby. We do not oppose as a matter of policy. What we are opposing is the procedure. The Standing Committee route is being bypassed,” she said.
She remained non-committal to questions whether the party would vote against the measure if the Government planned to ‘bulldoze’ it.
The GST bill (The Constitution 122nd Amendment Bill, 2014) has been listed for further consideration and passage in Lok Sabha today.
The bill was moved on Friday by Finance minister Arun Jaitley who had said it was a “win-win” measure for both the Centre and the states as he sought to allay the apprehensions of some state governments that they would lose revenue if GST was implemented.
When implemented, the GST is expected to eliminate several logistical logjams and vastly increase the speed of freight, as a World Bank study showed Indian truckers lose millions of operating hours a year stuck at interstate checkpoints, creating more opportunities for harassment and bribe-taking.