NEW DELHI -- A day before the winter session of Parliament is set to begin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the Opposition to join hands with the government and pass the Goods and Services Tax Bill. Addressing the all-party meeting hosted by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today, Modi told leaders of rival parties that finance minister Arun Jaitley will address all their concerns regarding the bill. He asked that the bill should be passed in the interest of the nation, as it was a "key reform measure".
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the all party meeting that GST legislation is in the interest of nation and the finance minister will speak to parties concerned to address their doubts on it," Naidu said to media after the meeting.
He is also learnt to have asked for cooperation of all parties during the winter session, so that work does not get stalled.
Among the other political parties, the Sharad Yadav-led JD(U) has apparently announced full support for the GST, while CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury has asked for talks to be held between the Centre and the states on the Bill. States will lose all legislative power on tax matters once GST comes into force, as under the current legislation. Yechury noted that these talks had not happened even though the Left parties have demanded the same repeatedly, in the past.
The Prime Minister also said that Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who has held talks with leaders of various parties, may talk to them further on the issue of India's stand on the resolution on the climate change issue and any one can given suggestions for two more days.
Amid indications of a tough session ahead, senior ministers had yesterday huddled to chalk out the strategy and work out floor coordination plans while parties like Congress, JD(U) and CPI-M made their intent clear, deciding to give notices for debate on the issue of intolerance and attacking Government on the key reform measure of GST.
NDA ministers had discussed legislative proposals to be brought before consideration of both the Houses of Parliament which include three Bills relating to replacement of Ordinances, GST Bill, Real Estate Regulation Bill etc.
The ministers also discussed recent incidents like Dadri killing, rationalist M M Kalburgi's killing and some other ones based on which a campaign alleging rising intolerance is on.
(with PTI inputs)
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