Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today accused the Congress of trying to obstruct the passage of GST Bill in the Rajya Sabha, alleging that the party was stalling economic growth irrespective of being in power or Opposition.
"Some people, while they were in the government, were a drag on the economy and aspire for the same even in Opposition," Mr Jaitley said referring to the Congress party, although he did not name it directly.
Noting that most Chief Ministers are in favour of the new goods and services tax (GST), he said it will herald the economic integration of the nation.
"There are some people working for putting obstacles on growth and hence are stopping the GST Bill as well," Mr Jaitley said while speaking at a function here this evening.
"Almost all the CMs are in favour of GST, even the Opposition is in its favour. They (Congress) have no numbers to stop it in Parliament and hence, they adopt a new strategy of disrupting the working of Parliament during the three-day-extension adopted for passing the GST Bill."
Mr Jaitley said after implementation of the GST, the entire country will become one market. "There will be one uniform market with a seamless transfer of goods and services."
The government has set an April 1, 2016 deadline to roll out the landmark indirect tax regime.
The Lok Sabha, where the ruling BJP-led NDA has comfortable majority, passed the GST Bill last Thursday.
The government has extended the Budget session by three days in its bid to get this crucial legislation and also the new Land Bill passed in the Upper House, where NDA is short of numbers.
The Congress is demanding that the Bill be sent to a Select Committee.
Launching three new social security schemes here as part of their national roll-out, Jaitley said the GST will benefit producing states like Maharashtra.
The service tax collected from the financial capital goes to the Centre and people have been complaining for not getting their due. Now, some portion will also come back to Maharashtra (under GST regime), the Minister maintained.
On economic growth, he said the country has capacity to expand in double-digits and not just 7-8 per cent.
"Last year, the economy grew 7-7.5 per cent; will grow faster this year, but we arent happy with this because we are capable of double-digit growth," he said, adding "today is an opportunity for us to improve growth after the setbacks from global slowdown and the policy paralysis."
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