Striking a discordant note with his party, Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh has expressed displeasure over stalling the goods and services tax (GST) bill in Parliament, saying Punjab stands to suffer the most.
The Congress is objecting to tabling the bill in the upper House, saying it is "riddled with problems and issues". The BJP-led government at the Centre mulls convening a special session of Parliament for enacting a GST law, as Union finance minister Arun Jaitley has declared that it is determined to stick to the rollout deadline of April 1, 2016.
Amarinder, who had earlier taken a dig at the Congress dharnas outside Parliament while defending his move to hold rallies in Punjab and giving the monsoon session a miss, issued a press statement on Friday that whatever the reasons or circumstances, the GST should have been allowed to be introduced in Parliament to pave the way for its eventual approval.
He said, GST was crucial to a state such as Punjab, which had a debt of more than Rs 1.25 lakh crore and which was unable to pay its employees and service its debts. "It would have brought relief to the state as well as its trade and industry that is under financial stress and fast winding up. GST, a Congress idea, would have made the tax regime uniform and generated additional revenue and resources for the state," Amarinder stated.
The bill, which seeks to replace all indirect taxes with a uniform levy, has been approved in the Lok Sabha already but could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha because of opposition by the Congress and Left parties.