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Non-passage of GST a blow to Indian economy, democracy: Jayant Sinha

PTI 08 Jan 2016, 23:19:12 IST

Bhubaneswar: The non-passage of GST bill will be a blow to the Indian democracy, economy and the overall development process, Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha has said.

"We are very desirous to get the GST bill and we are doing everything and making all efforts for this," Sinha told reporters here, a day after Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu called on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi seeking her support for its passage.

Referring to Naidu's meeting with Sonia Gandhi, Sinha said the BJP-led NDA government has been making all efforts to ensure passage of the GST bill.

Terming non-passage of the bill due to disruption of the Winter Session of Parliament by the Congress as a blow to Indian democracy, Sinha said though almost all political parties were in favour of the measure, all efforts went in vain due to Congress' resistance.

Stating that the government was hopeful about the fate of the bill, he said when the Winter Session commenced, Congress came out with all kinds of excuses to block it.

Accusing the Congress of stalling Parliament on frivolous grounds, Sinha said the entire Winter Session was virtually washed out as the principal opposition party raised issues ranging from intolerance to DDCA.

Sinha said passage of the GST bill was crucial, especially after the NDA government successfully put the economy back on track through deft fiscal management, which has been acknowledged by international agencies too.

While the economy was growing at around 7.5 per cent, inflation has been contained effectively and deficit was also brought down substantially, he said, claiming that Congress has stalled development by not allowing Parliament to run.

Read Also: GST Bill: Venkaiah Naidu appeals parties to unite for nation building

"We can say Achhe Din promised by us have really arrived," Sinha said.

To a query, the minister said it would not be proper to compare Parliament disruptions caused by NDA during UPA-2 to what Congress is doing now.

When Parliament was stalled by NDA, there were serious allegations pertaining to telecom scam, coal and other issues, while the Congress is now disrupting Parliament on trivial issues, he claimed.

Moreover, no legislative business was blocked by BJP during UPA-2, he said.

On black money, he said the government has taken a series of steps like making it mandatory to furnish PAN details in several transactions above Rs 2 lakh, while the first cabinet meeting had formed a SIT to deal with the

The government, through G-20 and other multilateral bodies, has sought strong measures to check black money and trap offenders, the minister said, adding that surveillance measures have also been stepped up to detect illicit activities.

As a result, several scams, including the Ponzi menace, were unearthed successfully, he said.

On challenges thrown by the global economic slowdown, Sinha said India would be able to deal with the situation effectively as its economy was robust to face any adverse situation.

Despite the slowdown, our exports remain highly competitive, he added.