Congress the author of GST, don’t know why they’ve to rethink: Jaitley

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 16, 2016 15:43 IST

Finance minister Arun Jaitley attends the session "The Global Economic Outlook" during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. (Reuters Photo)

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday he hoped the Congress will “see reason” and help in passage of GST legislation -- currently stuck in Rajya Sabha -- in the Budget Session of Parliament beginning next month.

“It (GST) is the important reform of UPA. If I had to credit the authorship of it, I have to give credit to them. Now, If the author turns against his own script, what do I make... I have reached out (and) I have spoken to them. I have explained to them and I hope they will see reason... (and) see the rationale behind passing GST,” he said.

Speaking at The Economic Times Global Business Summit, Jaitley said the three objections raised by the Congress “go against the brain of what they themselves had brought”.

The minister further said every party with the exception of the Congress is actively supporting the GST Bill.

Read | No compromise on GST Bill unless BJP accepts demands: Rahul Gandhi

“The UPA allies like the RJD, the NCP and the JD-U are openly supporting it,” Jaitley said, adding that even the Congress-ruled states are for GST.

“I don’t see a reason why they (Congress) should have a rethink on the bill. If there is a discussion on a particular idea in the Bill, I am willing to discuss with them... certainly, we can’t bound future generations to a flawed legislation,” the minister said.

GST which will subsume all indirect taxes such as excise duty, service tax and sales tax into one uniform rate, is stalled in the Rajya Sabha as the Congress is pressing for three changes.

On whether he took up the GST issue with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at a recent reception hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee, Jaitley answered in the negative.

“These are informal occasions, and it is not necessary that you get into a discussion at these forums. I certainly didn’t have any political discussions,” the minister said, adding that he had earlier talked about GST with Congress leaders on several occasions.

Read | Jaitley hopeful of passing GST Bill in ensuing budget session

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