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NCP tells BJP, Congress not to make GST a ‘prestige issue’

New Delhi: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Saturday asserted that the Good and Services Tax (GST) Bill is the need of the hour and asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress not to make it a prestige issue.

“Now the stakes are very high because last whole session their abortive attempt to get the bill through failed miserably. So, now it’s the time for them. If they cannot get it through then the blame will come on them and, therefore, it would mean that the government is ineffective and is not able to do anything. GST is the need of the hour,” NCP leader Majeed Memon.

“Our party believes that GST should be through with some amendments here and there. The Congress and the BJP should not be adamant on making it a prestige issue,” he added.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, has said the Congress Party can give a green signal to the GST Bill in the Parliament only if the Centre comes out with a formula for addressing their three demands.

“The three issues which the Congress demands on GST is the one percent tax for manufacturers, the constitutional cap of 18 percent for GST rate and an independent dispute resolution mechanism. If the government comes out with any formula on these three issues then we can go ahead with it,” Kharge told ANI here.

Prime Minister Modi yesterday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and his predecessor Dr. Manmohan Singh over tea to discuss the smooth functioning of the Parliament and bring an end to the impasse over the GST Bill.

The Prime Minister earlier while addressing the Lok Sabha attempted to bridge the divide over intolerance debate and differences over key legislations by expressing his faith in consensus and declaring that a decision taken by the majority must be the last resort.

Highlighting the importance of a healthy discussion in the Parliament, he said the spirit of discussion in the Lok Sabha is ‘us’ and not ‘me’ or ‘you’.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said that Prime Minister Modi was ready to speak to everyone to forge a consensus on the GST Bill. (ANI)