Even as he bid adieu to the retiring members of the Rajya Sabha on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminded them about the government’s unfulfilled agenda of passing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in Parliament.
“It would have been better if the GST bill was passed during your presence in the House,” Modi said, addressing the retiring MPs.
All efforts to pass the bill had hit a wall in the last two days as the Congress and the NDA are yet to come on the same page. But the PM indicated that he has not given up on the tax reforms.
“Those retiring members who are returning to the House will of course get a chance to pass the GST bill,” Modi said.
Fifty three MPs from different states will retire from the Upper House on Friday, the last day of the second budget session. While all of them will officially retire in phases over June and July, they will deliver their farewell speeches on Friday.
The GST bill aims to abolish the local levy systems and introduce a pan-Indian tax for goods and services.
In his speech, Modi also mentioned that the states stood to benefit the most from the bill.
“States like Bihar and UP will immensely benefit. Except one or two states, all other states will benefit from the GST,” he said.
The BJP is waiting for the Congress strength to deplete further in the Upper House to pass the bill. The Congress wants three amendments to the current bill but the government has not agreed to at least one demand.
In her farewell speech, BSP chief Mayawati said, “Our party had said in the last session that the government should bring the GST bill. But the Centre did not bring the bill during this session. We will support the bill. Anything which is good for the economy, should be done. We, however, will give suggestions to make it better.”