SRI CITY:The Union government is ready to conduct a special session of Parliament to pass the Goods and Services Tax Bill if the opposition Congress is ready to extend support, said Union Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
Naidu was talking to reporters after flagging off the first train-set manufactured in Alstom factory site here. He said, “If the Congress is willing to extend support, then we can have a special session to pass the GST Bill following which the states have to fast-track it.”
The Minister also hit out at former union finance minister P Chidambaram for stating that it is the BJP’s ‘stubborn and unbending’ attitude that is delaying the passage of the Goods and Services Tax Bill. “I would like to strongly rebut Chidambaram’s allegation blaming the government for the standoff on GST. The government is willing to walk the extra mile. We are keen on GST bill being passed this year but Congress has steadfastly refused not to allow the bill to be passed,” said Naidu.
“This kind of negativity has huge implications for our country. This attitude and approach will seriously dent our collective efforts to make 21st century belong to India,” he added.
He said it is irresponsible on the part of Chidambaram to make a statement that the government has not reached out to the opposition.
“The economy is stuck in a groove says Chidambaram. How can the fastest growing economy be said to have stuck in a groove,” asked Naidu adding that it is surprising that a former finance minister is making such a statement.
He said the Congress has put forth three suggestions. “We are for two suggestions but can’t agree with the first one, which wants the rate of taxation under GST to be made part of the Constitution,” he said.
“This is difficult as during disaster the country has to go in for additional cess every now and then to ensure that relief measures are undertaken. Then you have to amend Constitution every now and then,” he added.