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August 3, 2016

Trinamool supports GST Bill in RS, slams ping-pong politics of Congress-BJP

Trinamool supports GST Bill in RS, slams ping-pong politics of Congress-BJP

Consistent with the party’s stand in favour of GST, leader of the party in Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien today reiterated the support for GST Bill in the Upper House.

He said that the issue of Goods and Services Tax feature in all the manifestos of the Trinamool Congress  since 2009 while the current ruling party and the principal Opposition party have changed their stands based on where they sit.

Regional parties are consistent

The Government and Opposition party often change their stand based on where they sit. Parties in the middle are consistent on their stand on the GST.

Girgit Samjhauta Tax

GST has been pending from 2006 to 2016. GST could also be interpreted as Girgit Samjhauta Tax. GST has been 10 years of ping-pong politics between the ruling party and the principal Opposition party. They could win India a medal in Olympics in ping pong.

The ping pong on GST

In their election Manifesto in 2009 BJP said CST  will be abolished and GST will be rationalised between 12 and 14 percent.

As the Leader of the Opposition, Jaitley ji in 2011 said, “We won’t be fairly treated. We will cut off our own hands, our Constitutional authority and hand over our fiscal powers to the Centre.”

Again in 2012,  on FDI in retail he said,  “Structured international retail chains would source the products internationally, to the detriment of India’s manufacturing sector.”

In 2011, the Gujarat Finance Minister Saurabh Patel said, “The new constitution amendment draft proposed by the Government of India is retrograde in nature and completely against the fiscal federalism.”

Who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2011?

Cap of 18% on GST rate

Only having an idea of GST is not enough. We are for the implementation of GST. All of us are on the same page. 18 percent cannot go into the Constitutional Amendment.

Role of a Select Committee

BJP uses the Lok Sabha to bulldoze legislation. Thanks to Rajya Sabha, many positive changes were made. Clause 10 in the Bill is not what was unanimously recommended by the Select Committee. The proceedings of the Select Committee are not televised or else the country would have seen how Congress used ‘Go Slow Tactics’ in the committee.

CST compensation

My State is still owed Rs 6500 Cr as CST compensation. Even Odisha is owed Rs 3000 Cr. I want the Finance Minister to clarify on full compensation.

Dual control

Small business with less than Rs. 1.5 crore turnover should be kept out of dual control. The government must assure the House they will pass a Bill in November and not let the ping-pong match turn the GST Bill into an April Fools’ joke in 2017.


Under the three level tax structure proposed under GST (Central, State, interstate), people selling their products or supplying them, across the country will have to get three different registrations in every state.

How does the Government propose to ensure that compliance in GST will not be as low as it is in income tax collections?

Empowered Committee

We appreciate the fact that the Government reached out to the States and worked with the Finance Ministers. I want to put on record the great job done by Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers. Dr Amit Mitra, the Finance Minister of Bengal, who headed the Empowered Committee for 150 days also deserves credit.

Rise above electoral politics

Governments lost elections in Brazil, UK, Germany and South Africa after passing GST Bill. In Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Argentina and Indonesia, they came back to power. Don’t let the election results bother you, bring about the GST Bill legislation.


A boy who was in Class X in 2005 when GST Bill was first introduced, is winning us cricket matches now. He is Virat Kohli. For the sake of many more Virat Kohlis,the young generation of tomorrow, we must debate, deliberate and legislate and take the country forward.


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