Government in talks with Opposition for GST passage in Winter Session: Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: The government is reaching out to the Opposition to bring it on board to ensure passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for GST in the Winter Session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said.

Terming GST as the “need of the hour”, Naidu said: “GST should be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament. I appeal to all political parties not to have political consideration, but to think in terms of national interest. There are other political issues on which we can fight but GST has been pending for the last seven years.”

He added: “I am confident (about the passage of GST) as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister. I am already in touch with some of the Opposition parties. We are discussing with them and they have meaningful suggestions… they can also be taken into consideration while adopting the Bill in Parliament.” The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will subsume more than a dozen state levies to create a single market, is to be implemented from April 1, 2016. But the deadline may be missed if Parliament does not pass the Constitution Amendment Bill in the upcoming Winter Session starting November 26.

The Bill has been passed in the Lok Sabha and is awaiting clearance from the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA lacks majority.

The main opposition party, the Congress, has been opposing the passage demanding inclusion of a few provisions in the Bill.

“Due to (introduction of GST), India’s GDP will rise by 1.5-2%, according to experts. We are seeing that the world market is slowing down, China is going a little negative and India is the most attractive place,” Naidu said.

“It is a great opportunity for India, for we should take the initiative and make Indian economy more strong so that interest rates can come down and you can spend more on welfare and developmental activities.”