101 Counts on Which GST Bill Should Be Sent to Parliament Panel: Moily

New Delhi
101 Counts on Which GST Bill Should Be Sent to Parliament Panel: Moily

Congress leader Veerappa Moily today said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was "revolutionary" but insisted there are "101 counts" on which it should be sent to Parliamentary Standing Committee for wider consultations of some of its provisions.

Moily said this in the Lok Sabha as he backed the GST Bill but contested some of its provisions, demanding that it be sent to the Standing Committee, which was supported by parties like AIADMK and BJD.

TMC said it was "broadly supporting" the bill while AIADMK said it was against it as Tamil Nadu ruled by it would lose over Rs 10,000 crore due to the new tax structure.

Moily, while initiating a debate on the bill after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley "beseeched" the opposition to help in its passage, said the Bill was revolutionary but argued that many provisions introduced by the BJP government required wider consultation and for that it needed to sent to the Standing Committee.

Jaitley rose to congratulate Moily and Congress over this "statesman-like attitude" in offering support to the bill.

However, Moily said, "There is not one count but there are 101 counts on which I can demonstrate to the Finance Minister that it it is a fit case to be sent to the Standing Committee. Do that. Do not stand on formality."

Moily said over 140 countries have GST measures and India could have "borrowed" and "learnt" from them to come out with a law which would help it to be "in the frontline of developed countries".

Attacking the government for changes made in an earlier version of the bill brought by the UPA, Moily said the NDA dispensation should inform the opposition if it had "decided" not to send bills to Standing Committees so that they do not "waste the time of Parliament".

He said the government would not be doing any charity by agreeing to demand for sending it to the Standing Committee.

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) admitted that GST would be a game changer, but demanded that it be referred to the Standing Committee for scrutiny.

Moily also criticised the retrospective tax introduced by the former UPA government in which he was a minister, saying it was a "failure" which cost the country "heavily".

"We also failed. I said that time we are wrong. It cost this country heavily," he said.

The retrospective tax was introduced in 2012 when the Finance Minister was Pranab Mukherjee, who is now the President of India.

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