- Modi government reaches out to Congress, seeking support for the clearance of Goods and Services tax bill in the upcoming budget session.
- It has also agreed to a majority of the Congress\' suggestions on the Real estate Bill.
- While the government has shown initiative by taking the lead before the budget sessions, Congress too has accepted the gesture and sought a middle ground.
After facing major hurdles during the Parliament's Winter Session, the Narendra Modi led NDA government has again reached out to the Opposition, for a consensus on clearing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the upcoming Budget session.
The NDA aims to strike a compromise to enable passage of the constitutional bill to implement the GST and to advance the upcoming budget session.
Meanwhile, reports add that the government has also sought Congress' support to pass the Real Estate bill and is willing to accept majority of their suggestions on it.
Breaking the gridlock:
Union parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday morning at her residence and sought the Party's support to pass the GST and real estate bills.
"We had (earlier) met the Congress president and Manmohan Singh on GST and several other issues. I met Congress president Sonia Gandhi today and reminded her that the Congress party should take a stand, depending on what we talked last time," Naidu told reporters.
"I told her that a quick decision should be taken and we should move forward on both GST and real estate bills. She said they will discuss it and take a stand on it," he reiterated.
According to reports by Mint, a senior congress leader said, "The Congress president has said that we will discuss the issue within the party. The negotiation process is still on. A middle ground may be reached on the 18%Ã¢revenue-neutral-rate (in the GST) if the government offers a compromise. If it happens, then the Congress party will deliberate on it and take a call."
Sibal refutes all claims of truce:
"What proposal? There is no proposal from the government side. If he had to accept our demands, why would finance minister Arun Jaitley say that shrinking Congress' strength in the Rajya Sabha will make GST happen," Congress politician Kapil Sibal told reporters when he was asked about the latest developments.
Failed Monsoon and Winter sessions. Will budget session prove any different:
Last year, Narendra Modi had met Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh to negotiate on the terms and conditions for GST clearance after failure to clear it in the Monsoon session. However, despite every effort by the Modi government, it did not have the numbers to clear the bill in the upper house of the parliament and the Congress backed out of supporting it even in the Winter session, thereby complicating the logjam.
Positive or negative news for GST?
So, will this the Modi government's sending Naidu to initiate talks before the Budget session yield results? In all probability, the answer seems to be in the affirmative as Arun Jaitley's Budget 2016 is awaited with bated breath by industry experts, corporates and bureaucrats. The Congress definitely wouldn't want to portray itself as an obstacle to development if its conditions are met.