The Centre is firm on rolling out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from the next financial year, union minister Prakash Javadekar said on Friday, underlining the NDA government’s resolve to push through the ambitious tax reform.
The GST bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha but is struck in the Upper House where the ruling NDA does not have the requisite numbers.
Though both houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die on Thursday, the government did not prorogue, or formally end, the monsoon session and kept the doors open for reconvening the House to take up the bill again.
Javadekar, the minister of state for parliamentary affairs, said on Friday that the ruling alliance had the requisite numbers in the Rajya Sabha to get the bill passed but did not spell out the arithmetic.
“The Parliament has only been adjourned and not prorogued and when needed, the Upper House can be reconvened to pass the GST bill,” he said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters
Replying to a question, the minister said that unlike the Congress that was not able to convince many states on the GST issue, the NDA government had worked hard to take all of them on board.
Javadekar was in the state capital as a part of the BJP’s strategy to “expose the Congress” with its ministers and MPs holding press conferences for this purpose in all the states capitals the same day and the same time.
He accused the Congress of stalling the country’s progress by not allowing the Parliament to do its business for “selfish ends”.
“The Congress is, in fact, not able to digest the fact that the Gandhi family is out of power and it has been the Congress’s history to destabilise non-Congress governments whenever it was out of power,” he alleged.
The bitter acrimony between the BJP and Congress parties had plummeted to a new low during the parliament session over the opposition party’s demand for sacking external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and two BJP chief ministers mired in controversies.