Exuding confidence in getting the GST Bill passed in the upcoming monsoon session, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said regional parties, including UPA allies like DMK and NCP, are all making strong noises in support of the tax legislation.
Stating that it would be extremely difficult for the Congress to take a contrarian view, he said if there is no consensus, the only alternative is a parliamentary vote.
“I am reasonably confident because… every political party, including the Congress, favours the GST. In fact, the Congress should have had the vision to support it more aggressively because they could claim the original authorship of the idea,” Jaitley said when asked if he was confident of passing the Bill in the monsoon session during an interaction with members of IWPC here.
“So, whether it is SP or BSP in Uttar Pradesh, JD(U) or RJD in Bihar, the Left in West Bengal and Kerala, the Trinamool in West Bengal, BJD…, each one of the UPA partners from DMK to NCP is making strong noises in support.”
He added that he is “reasonably confident” that when it comes to the crunch, “it would be extremely difficult even for the Congress party to take a contrarian view”.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which has been approved by the Lok Sabha, is pending in the Rajya Sabha because of stiff resistance by the Congress, the largest party in the House, over a few proposals.
“I hope… the Congress party would revisit its position. I certainly would be keeping the discussions with them on. I always said my preference is a consensus must emerge because all state governments across political complexion has to implement it and therefore, consensus is the better way,” Jaitley said.
“And I do hope it moves in that direction. If consensus does not emerge, then the only other alternative is the parliamentary process. We will ask the Rajya Sabha and take a view on it.”
The minister said the number count of all those that are supporting the GST shows that barring the AIADMK, which has some mixed voices, every other regional party has strong interest in passing the legislation because it helps these states.