The GST Committee has ironed out every difference in the GST Bill. The Government should, therefore, be able to pass it in this session if Parliament is allowed to function, Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, said here today.
Stating that the committee formed to iron out the differences has done a detailed thrashing out of the various processes, she said “the GST bill itself, prior to the GST Bill per se, needs a constitution amendment. The first step therefore is constitution amendment and then the Bill; post this, it will be laying of rules. At this stage, every difference has been ironed out by the committee.”
Coming down heavily on the Opposition for not allowing conduct of Parliament, she said “we have, from day one, been ready to discuss issues. But, of course, in Rajya Sabha we want to discuss issues related to states, but it is not done ever. As things stand, Parliament does not normally discuss issues related to states.
Sitharaman was in the city at the International Business Conference of Nagarathars (IBCN) 2015 organised by the Nagarathar Entrepreneurs Union.
Reverting to FTA, she said discussions were on with regard to FTA with Australia, Canada and the European Union, including Eurasian countries, which have not come within the ambit of free trade yet.
A group has been formed to assess how best we can go with Latin American countries, particularly Peru, she said, adding “discussions on RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) with ASEAN are also on.”
To a query on Rahul Gandhi’s visit, Sitharaman said “if he is really worried about farmers, I will challenge him to go to Karnataka, Congress-ruled states. It is not too far away from TN or from Anantapur and Rayalseema region. The maximum number of farmer suicides has happened in Karnataka in the last two months."
Recalling his visit to Orissa (during the UPA rule), and his assertion then that we would work as a Sipahi to protect the interest of the tribals, she asked “what happened subsequently? What was the fallout of that interest, the land acquisition bill? Which tribal interest has he taken care of?”
Answering yet another query, she said “we are earnestly trying to revive the economy. But the odds are manifesting themselves in the Parliament. Against every such terrible odd, the Government is trying its best to take everyone's voice on board.