GST ‘outcome soon’, signals Congress leadership

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A deal between the government and Congress on the GST bill could be in the offing with sources close to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi saying, “some progress has been made” in negotiations and that “an outcome was possible”.

The devoplment raises the possibility of the GST bill being considered by Rajya Sabha next week if specifics of a mechanism to determine the tax rate and resolve disputes are sealed.

The assessment offered by the top Congress leadership during an informal interaction with the media in Parliament’s central hall on Thursday is the most positive signal on GST to emerge from the main opposition in recent weeks.

The Congress comments come a couple of days after a meeting of the empowered committee of state finance ministers with finance minister Arun Jaitley saw most states argue in favour of retaining relative freedom to set tax rates.

Though Congress sources said the draft spelling out terms on sticking points that have held up the GST bill is yet to be shared, the mood in the Congress camp signals an accommodative stance on the long-pending tax reform.

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