The government is hopeful of the passage of the GST Bill in this session beginning from 18th July and continuing upto 12th August amid indications that a number of regional parties have broken ranks with Congress on the issue and are willing to extend their support to this crucial economic reform measure. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took one step further in solving the contentious issue of Goods and Services Tax or the GST issue as it is known, the opposition Congress had struck to its earlier stand by saying “our stand remains the same”. Making it clear the Bill will not get passed and it will not meet its 2016 deadline. Congress slammed the government for its plan to impose two per cent cess for the ‘Skill India’ mission, thereby taking the total to five per cent for different purposes including Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Why is common man being burdened for PM’s pet projects – Make in India, Skill India, Swachh Bharat the Congress had been asking. How much more burden will the government put? In this light the Congress fears on GST Bill seems to be true. There has to be a cap of 18 per cent. Otherwise it’ll be difficult for people to cope with it. Government should roll back the additional 1 per cent cess brought to compensate the manufacturing states. If today Modi is talking of consensus governance then the government should call for a discussion on the Bill before proceeding in Rajya Sabha to break the prevailing logjam. Last Friday, the Prime Minister had reached out to the Congress keeping hopes alive for the enactment of the Goods and Services Tax Bill before the beginning of the next financial year. Congress has been alleging that the ruling party was riding roughshod over the opposition in Parliament. The GST once introduced would be able to address this prevailing divide and bring in uniformity which ultimately would be a big relief for the consumer. It is the consumer who is the worst affected due to such a faulty taxation system on goods and services.
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