With the Budget Session of Parliament commencing on February 23, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today hoped that the opposition parties will “see reason” and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which is held up in Rajya Sabha, will become a reality soon.
“It (GST) has been supported by most political parties and I am sure others will also see reason and this law will become a reality very soon,” the minister said while inaugurating the two-day India Investment Summit here. The first part of Budget session will be held from February 23 to March 16 and the second part will be from April 25 to May 13, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said after a the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) meeting, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Rail Budget to be presented on February 25, Economic survey on February 26 and General budget on February 29.
Jaitley, meanwhile, said the government is also working on streamlining the direct taxation system.
"We want to rationalise our direct tax system in order to make it one of the most competitive regimes in the world comparable with what competitive economies elsewhere have," he added.
He further said reform is a continuous process and "there is no finishing line" for that as "it has to go on and on because challenges keep coming up".
GST, which will subsume all indirect taxes such as excise duty, service tax and sales tax into one uniform rate, is stalled in the Rajya Sabha as the Congress is pressing for three changes.
The Congress has stalled the passage of the constitutional amendment Bill, derailing the government's plan to roll out GST from April 1, 2016.
The three demands are a cap on the GST rate in the Constitution itself, removal of the proposed 1 per cent additional tax on inter-state movement of goods and setting up a judicial panel to adjudicate disputes among states.