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GST Bill: Govt reaches out but Congress non-committal

New Delhi: Amid moves to call a special session of Parliament for passage of Goods and Services Tax Bill, Government today reached out to Congress but the opposition party remained non-committal on its support saying
gst bill govt reaches out but congress non...
PTI 25 Aug 2015, 13:34:39 PM IST

New Delhi: Amid moves to call a special session of Parliament for passage of Goods and Services Tax Bill, Government today reached out to Congress but the opposition party remained non-committal on its support saying it would first read the fine print.

"They (government) want to call a special session and they are consulting all parties it seems. Unless we see what are the amended clauses or what is the agreement between the proposal of the standing committee and government, unless we see the final bill, we cannot comment on that," Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said.

He was speaking after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu met Kharge to discuss the issue. The senior Congress leader said that one has to see which provisions have been accepted or deleted in the bill.

"They should also send a copy of the bill. What are the new provisions added, which provisions were deleted, what are the proposals accepted by them which were suggested by Congress or other parties, reasonable objections. That should be seen," he said.

He asserted that the GST bill has to be passed by both the houses of Parliament "separately" and not by calling just a joint session.

"The GST bill should be passed in both the houses separately. It cannot be called a joint session or so. I do not think they will call session. For that also 14 days notice is required," he said.

Congress - which had initiated the GST Bill in 2006 - is strongly opposed to it in the present form and is insisting on three key amendments. The monsoon session has not been prorogued which means that the government can convene it again.

The Bill has been stuck in a political logjam in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority.

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