Arun Jaitley: Congress Has Delayed The GST For 'Collateral Reasons'

19/12/2015 12:25 PM IST | Updated 29/08/2016 7:06 PM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 16: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the winter session of Parliament on December 16, 2015 in New Delhi, India. In a fresh bid to break the logjam on the crucial GST Bill, the government is contemplating holding an all-party meeting soon as it is confident of the support of a larger number of Opposition parties on the issue. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday flayed the opposition, mainly the Congress Party, for delaying the government's ambitious Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill in Parliament, saying that the passage of the Bill is being delayed for collateral reasons.

"As far as the GST is concerned, I have no doubt in my mind that the attempt is to delay is entirely for collateral reasons. The only collateral reason I suspect is if I couldn't do it, why should somebody else do it," said Jaitley.

"At this point, I regret when Indian politics becomes a hurdle to India's larger interests," he added.

Jaitley also said that he has already made it clear to the principal opposition party (Congress) his position with regards to the three conditions related to the GST and opposed by the Congress.

"Accepting some of them in toto, would render it as a completely flawed GST, and, I think, a delayed GST is better than a flawed GST," he added.

"Therefore, I would still try and persuade them to give up the rigidness of constitutionally prescribed tariffs, which can be an albatross around the neck of future generations," he further said.

The NDA Government is making all out efforts to bring about a consensus on the GST Bill, which is now caught in a political logjam in Parliament, but there are no chances of it getting passed during the Winter Session, dealing a blow to the economic reforms process of the government.

The Congress has been stalling passage of the GST Bill over its demand for a simple GST regime where states do not have powers to levy additional tax over an 18 percent tax rate that forms a part of the Constitutional Amendment Bill.

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