A day after the Union Cabinet approved amendments to the GST bill, dropping the contentious 1% manufacturing tax, the bill will be taken up in Rajya Sabha next week. It has been listed in the activities of the Upper House.
The Cabinet also incorporated words that guarantees compensation to states for the first five years.This come after former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram today said the GST bill pending in the Rajya Sabha is "flawed" and required amendment.
"We support the GST, we are the original proponent of the GST idea. The bill (pending in Rajya Sabha) is flawed and therefore we say the bill requires amendment. Opposing a bill which is badly drafted," he said, adding that he does not know what amendments were cleared by the Cabinet yesterday.By doing away with the 1& inter-state tax over and above the GST rate, the government has met one of the three key demands over which the Opposition Congress has been blocking the Bill in the Upper House.
The other demands of including GST rate in the statute and a Supreme Court judge-headed dispute resolution body has not been accepted. "I don't know what the present position is. The Congress party has authorised Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mr Anand Sharma to talk to the Finance Minister. Only when they report back to the Congress party, will I know what the position is," Chidambaram told NDTV. He said opposing a bill which is badly drafted or which is flawed does not mean that the Congress is opposing the reform.
"On the contrary asking for a more perfect bill, I am not saying that a completely perfect bill is possible, is in fact supporting reform. Passing a flawed bill is anti reform," Chidambaram said.
According to sources, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian today held several rounds of talks with leaders of Congress and other parties including the Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and CPI(M) to build a consensus on the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill.
With inputs from PTI