The Congress party on Monday said irrational and senseless demonetisation had ruined the spirit of the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be introduced by the Centre.
“The Congress has been responsible so far as its stand on national economic issues and national security is concerned, and now, the question is that this irrational and senseless demonetisation policy has perhaps dampened the spirit of GST,” Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra said.
Responding to finance minister Jaitley’s statement that he is hopeful about the GST being implemented in 2017 and confident that the digistised economy will be the future of India, Mishra said, “It seems Jaitley had to assert his position as finance minister because some of us were wondering yesterday (Sunday) that whether that position now has been reserved by the prime minister himself.”
He said the Congress wished GST to be a big success.
Mishra said the UPA government was not able to implement the GST because of the BJP’s opposition, but today, a BJP-led government is in a position to pass it because of the Congress party’s cooperation.
“We have seen the winter session of the parliament being washed away because of the intransigent approach of the government and the complete non-availability of the prime minister, and therefore, requisite moves could not be made,” he said.
Mishra said the resource and finance base of the state had taken a big hit due to the demonetisation policy, and therefore, legitimate questions had been raised by some state governments on whether it will be advisable and feasible to rush in with details of the GST which is yet to be passed by state governments and enabling legislations are yet to be cleared.
He said it had to be seen that GST should not be considered from standpoint of political one up man ship.
“The Congress has already made it clear that while we try to enable the legislation for GST, it is necessary for both houses of parliament to be consulted and their view taken into account,” the Congress leader said.
He said the Centre had failed to give an assurance that they were not going to read this as only a Money Bill, as there is a possibility of the government trying to scuttle discussion in the Rajya Sabha.
Mishra said the government should put efforts to take the opposition parties and state governments on board before implementing the GST.
“The BJP actually was responsible for this huge delay in the passage of the GST Act and it was the Congress which actually made GST a reality,” he said.