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GST: Narendra Modi proposes, Sonia Gandhi disposes

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Published on 21 July 2016 8:26 AM GMT

GST: Narendra Modi proposes, Sonia Gandhi disposes
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New Delhi: Growing support to one country-one-tax or General Sales Tax (GST) plan has emboldened the Modi government at the Centre and created hope that it will see the light of the day sooner than later. The issue is slated to be debated in the Rajya Sabha next Monday and is likely to be settled before the end of current monsoon session.

The matter was referred to the business advisory committee of the Upper House which has allotted five hours for discussion on it. The Congress is still not ready to back it to the hilt but most of other opposition parties have come on board which has cheered the ruling party.

The latest to join the pro- group is chief minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar. Before him another Bihar stalwart Lalu Prasad Yadav had come out in its favour. He has been the worst critic of Modi but not on this issue.

In addition to them, some left parties and chief minister of West Bengal have found the scheme useful for the nation. All this has left the Congress virtually alone. The worst part of the GST story is that it was the Congress which had mooted this proposal.

Modi cannot take the full credit and he has made it known . At a recent meeting with different party leaders he has clearly stated that it was a national issue and not that of his party.

The Congress continues to oppose it on two grounds: onr, inclusion of capping in the amendment to the constitution and, two, additional levy of onr per cent by manufacturing states. The second demand has some logic but not the first. How can the limit of 18 per cent be a part of the constitutional amendment? In such a case any further revision has to go through the same drill and make the task of the government of the day difficult.

For the constitutional amendment, two-thirds members’ support in two houses of parliament is a must. Besides this, support of more than half of the total states is required.

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