The world, today, uniformly acknowledges that India is a fast growing economy… The point is with regard to our ability to continue with the reform process. The whole world is really looking at us. Are we able to continue with some of the reform measures, particularly bring the Goods and Services Tax?
Now it is said that it had been obstructed by the NDA, now it is being obstructed by somebody else. Well, let me honestly confess that there was no consensus at that time between the states. I concede it was the UPA idea in the first instance, and one of the first things that we did was to bring about a 100% consensus between states.
Let me come to the three points of objection which you (Congress) have raised:
The manufacturing states had a reservation during the UPA regime. And mind you, this was not a BJP, Congress, UPA, NDA issue; it was manufacturing states which had a particular concern.
So, a consensus was arrived at, that for a two year-period, 1% additional tax on inter-state movement of goods and services will take place. I am willing to go back to the states and persuade them to drop this idea. So, it is not really a contentious issue. The second issue that you (Congress) mentioned is, let us have a dispute settlement process. The dispute settlement process that you are suggesting is, if states can’t decide in the GST council, a body headed by the Supreme Court Judge must then decide. For heaven’s sake, I beseech you, in the interest of Indian democracy, not to go on this misadventure.