New Delhi, Apr 20 (PTI) Congress today said, despite just four days remaining for the Parliament session to begin, government has not approached the opposition for resolving issues concerning the crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill. The party claimed the real reason for the non-passage of the key reform measure was due to its being “red flagged” by the RSS. It, however, did not elaborate. Partys chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala replied in the negative when asked by reporters whether the government has taken any initiative to resolve the deadlock over the bill which is stuck in the Rajya Sabha. The GST bill, which seeks to replace a slew of central and state levies with a uniform rate, was passed by Lok Sabha in May and is pending ratification by Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA does not have a majority. Surjewala dismissed suggestions that the ruling dispensation has any magic formula to manufacture numbers in the Upper House.
Targeting Mamata Banerjees TMC, he said parties like it have helped the government “surreptitiously” in the past on several bills. Insisting that the Congress is “ardent supporter” of the GST measure, he said the party wanted the government to concede to its “reasonable” demands in the “interest of the country”. Seeking to drive home the “reasonable demands,” Surjewala said the 18 per cent cap sought by the Congress was in the interest of the common man.
He alleged that the government might be blaming the opposition, especially Congress over the non-passage of the bill, but the fact is “RSS has red flagged GST”.