Congress takes on Govt on GST, Pakistan policy

RSTV Bureau

File picture of Congress leader P Chidambaram. (PTI)

On the first day of the New Year, the Congress stepped up its attack on the Centre. In a press conference held by senior party leader P Chidambaram, the Congress took on the government over various issues like inflated growth rate projection, “stubbornness” over GST and the alleged u-turns with regard to Indo-Pak policies.

“At the start of 2015, the government had confidently predicted that economy will grow at 8.1 to 8.5% in 2015-16, but growth in India may not be more than 7to 7.3% in FY16,” said the former Finance Minister while attacking the BJP.

While listing out the poll promises made by the NDA government, Chidambaram said, “promises like more jobs, greater FDI, quicker infrastructure growth, have not materialised”.

He also slammed the government’s policy towards Pakistan just days after PM Modi made his maiden visit to Pakistan after taking over as PM.

“U-turns & impulsive steps do not make foreign policy,” quipped Chidambaram while hinting at PM’s visit and the recent shift in policy towards Pakistan when the NSAs of both the countries held a surprise meeting in Thailand which paved the way for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad.

More and more people are asking if the government has a clear and consistent policy towards Pakistan, Chidambaram alleged while saying that Congress’ stand on issue was that India must engage in talks with Pakistan.

While speaking on the issue of Parliament logjam, Chidambaram said that the Congress party had “cooperated with the government to pass 67 bills in Lok Sabha and 45 bills in the Rajya Sabha.”

On the controversial Goods and Service Tax (GST), Chidambaram slammed the government for “not accommodating” the views of the Opposition parties.

“Government is only to blame itself & its stubborn attitude. The government has shown no willingness to engage with the Opposition on any important issue…It is better to delay the bill rather than pass a flawed bill,” claimed Chidambaram.

He went on to state the “three principal” objections to the proposed GST bill and said that, “We have not yet received anything in writing after meeting of Prime Minister with Dr. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi.”