The Goods and Services Tax Bill, which aims to fix the GST rates, is likely to be stuck in Parliament due to the Centre’s decision to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The Opposition is saying that it is not the right time to implement the GST Bill, which “imposes taxes as high as 28 per cent”.
The Congress, which helped the Centre get the Constitutional amendment on GST passed in both Houses of Parliament, said it is time to revive questions on whether the GST will be inflationary.
“We have been maintaining that the GST rate should not go beyond 18 per cent. Any rate more than this will have an impact on the common people. The BJP was opposed to our suggestions and now the Centre wants 28 per cent tax on certain commodities. This will break the backbone of the common people. We will oppose such provisions in the proposed GST Bill,” said Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. A meeting of the Opposition parties too, apparently discussed the strategy to be adopted on Bills, such as the GST Bill. The consensus is that no business would be allowed in the House until the Centre makes its stand clear on the issue of withdrawal of notes.
“Let us see the Centre’s response on other pressing issues. Our response to the GST Bill and other business in Parliament will be based on this response,” CPI National Secretary D Raja told Business Line after the meeting of Opposition parties.
CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “The Centre should reveal the names of people who have stashed money abroad. They must also tell people the amount of non-performing assets caused by corporate houses. We will see what will be the Centre’s reply on these issues before taking the next step.”