Will go for voting on GST if Congress doesn’t come around: FM

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said government may seek voting on GST Constitution amendment bill in Rajya Sabha in the Monsoon session in case Congresscontinues to oppose the long-pending indirect tax law.

“Only one political party, the Congress, and that is a political opposition. That is not an ideological opposition. I am trying my best to talk to them, so that they can come around. And if they don’t, then, we’ll have no option but to put it to vote,” Jaitley said in a interview to All India Radio.

Jaitley said the bill will be put to vote in next Parliamentsession even if Congress continues to oppose it, the AIR said in a release.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, which has been approved by Lok Sabha, is pending in Rajya Sabha because of stiff resistance by Congress, the largest party in the House.

Government has been insisting that most of the parties, except Congress, are in favour of GST, which will bring about a uniform indirect taxation regime in the country.

Replying questions on GDP, Jaitley said the country can achieve even better growth rate if there is a favourable monsoon this year and improvement in global economy.

“I think first important factor, which is beyond our control, is that the world starts growing faster. So if, global tail winds support us, then our ability to grow faster will be there. But thats something not in our control.

“The second important factor is oil and commodity prices must remain at a moderate level. The present regime suits us, because as net buyers, we are buying at a cheaper price and therefore, we are saving a lot of money. The third important factor is that India’s private sector has to get more active,” he said.
Jaitley said government has taken a number of steps such

as concentrating on rural areas, liberalising economy, and removing discretions and wasteful subsidies to boost the economic growth.

Referring to Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, Jaitley said the government is not cutting subsidies but rationalising them with an aim to ensure that the money reaches the poor.

“Subsidies must only reach the poor. That’s the objective of the government. And therefore, in LPG, we’ve successfully implemented it. And I think the next stage is that we’re trying other areas like fertiliser and food- pilot schemes, whether similar schemes are possible or not,” he said.

Speaking on job creation, the minister said jobs are being created in start ups and IT sector, but added it is manufacturing sector which needs to create more employment.

To a question on ease of doing business, he said the reforms ushered in last year had brought India up in global rankings.

He further said the enactment of the bankruptcy law will further improve India’s ranking.

Jaitley said that India can achieve its potential if the government continues its reform process adding that government has taken various initiatives to boost the country’s growth.

But, at the same time reforms have to take place at the state level also, he added.

The reforms ushered in the last year or so has brought up India in global rankings, Jaitley said.

While, the construction and overall real estate sectors are affecting the country’s ranking, he added.

Source: PTI

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