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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Govt heeds states & Cong as it launches final GST push

A day after a crucial meeting with states on the goods and services tax, the Modi government moved swiftly to incorporate the deliberations in the Constitution amendment bill, while addressing one of three demands raised by Congress.

But while accommodating Congress by doing away with the plan for a 1% additional levy, the government held firm on two other issues by not capping rates in the proposed legislation and leaving dispute resolution to the GST council. The decisions seem intended to send a strong message that the Centre will try to push the bill in the current session of Parliament The government is likely to hold formal talks with Congress on GST amend ments on Thursday, amid indications that informal parleys have been on the right track. Once the issues are settled with the principal opposition party, the government is expected to call an all-party meeting for an across-the-spectrum consultation on the vexed indirect reforms legislation.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley, who is meeting party leaders individually, hosted West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for lunch at his residence on Wednesday.

Last week Jaitley met Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar who backed the Centre's formulation on keeping the tax rate outside the legislation.


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