Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said he hoped that the Opposition parties will “see reason” and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which is held up in Rajya Sabha, will be passed soon.
“It [GST] has been supported by most political parties and I am sure others will also see reason and this law will become a reality very soon,” the Minister said while inaugurating the two-day India Investment Summit.
He said the Government is also working on streamlining the direct taxation system.
“We want to rationalise our direct tax system in order to make it one of the most competitive regimes in the world, comparable with what competitive economies elsewhere have,” Mr. Jaitley added.
He said reform is a continuous process and “there is no finishing line” for that as “it has to go on and on because challenges keep coming up.”
The GST, which will subsume all indirect taxes such as excise duty, service tax and sales tax into one uniform rate, is stalled in the Rajya Sabha as the Congress is pressing for three changes.
The Congress has stalled the passage of the constitutional amendment Bill, derailing the Government’s plan to roll out the GST from April 1, 2016.
The three demands are a cap on the GST rate in the Constitution itself, removal of the proposed 1 per cent additional tax on Inters-State movement of goods and setting up a judicial panel to adjudicate disputes among States.
The budget session of Parliament commences on February 23.
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