Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 August spoke extensively in the Lok Sabha on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and asserted that it will act as a catalyst to help strengthen trust between Centre and States.
PM Modi thanked all the parties who extended their support for the GST Bill and said that it was a win for India as a whole and not a specific political party.
"It is our democracy and maturity of political leaders in India that we have been able to do this pass the GST bill in one voice. GST will help strengthen One India be it the smallest or the largest state. GST bill gives us freedom from tax terrorism."
He added, "GST means 'Great Step towards transformation', 'Great Step towards transparency' in India. States in our country are not self-sufficient but are interdependent. GST will boost the economy of under-developed States.
Asserting that 'Rashtraneeti' is bigger than 'Rajneeti', PM Modi said that he had even consulted Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.
"States were distrustful of the centre. We wanted to achieve it through consensus. We had even spoken to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh in this regard. Today it has been achieved through taking into consideration of all views and through consensus," he said in Lok Sabha.
He also said that consumer states will benefit more from GST but affirmed that the Centre would compensate manufacturing states in case of losses incurred.
The Rajya Sabha, on 3 August, passed a bill to amend the Constitution that would facilitate roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax amid the government's assurance that the tax rates would be kept "as low as possible".
--With ANI inputs