Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former chief Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday morning to break the deadlock over GST bill. Real Estate bill was also discussed in the meeting which lasted for near about one hour. The GST bill has been touted as the biggest tax reform since independence.
Naidu has reportedly said in the meeting that “Government is ready to call the Budget session early if it is required and parties agree to it.”
Congress has always opposed the implementation of GST bill citing three demands, out of which two had been addressed by the BJP earlier. Post-meeting, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Naidu said that all the three demands of Congress were addressed by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
While Naidu did not come out clean with the minutes of the meeting, he did say that Congress would “discuss it within themselves and take a final decision.”
Not too long ago, Jaitley expressed confidence of GST bill getting pushed in the current budget session and that it might get implemented by mid this year. However, the fierce opposition by the former finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and his other fellow party members is still a hurdle to the passage of the bill.
Chidambaram did say on 1 January that “the government failed to accommodate opposition’s demands and pass the GST bill.” He also said that the BJP-led Central government is ‘stubborn and unbending’ on GST bill.
Whether the meeting which was intended to break the ice between the two parties over the GST bill tussle bore any fruit or not is a tale only time can tell.