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Congress to back GST only if demands are met: Kharge


New Delhi: Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, on Saturday said the Congress Party can give a green signal to the Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST) in the Parliament only if the Centre comes out with a formula for addressing their three demands.

“The three issues which the Congress demands on GST is the one percent tax for manufacturers, the constitutional cap of 18 percent for GST rate and an independent dispute resolution mechanism. If the government comes out with any formula on these three issues then we can go ahead with it,” Kharge told ANI here.

“I don’t have the details of the conversations between them yesterday. We will discuss about it in the party meeting and will let you know further details,” Kharge added when asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with the Congress top brass last evening.

Prime Minister Modi yesterday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and his predecessor Dr. Manmohan Singh over tea to discuss the smooth functioning of the Parliament and bring an end to the impasse over the GST Bill.

The Prime Minister earlier while addressing the Lok Sabha attempted to bridge the divide over intolerance debate and differences over key legislations by expressing his faith in consensus and declaring that a decision taken by the majority must be the last resort.

Highlighting the importance of a healthy discussion in the Parliament, he said the spirit of discussion in the Lok Sabha is ‘us’ and not ‘me’ or ‘you’.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said that Prime Minister Modi was ready to speak to everyone to forge a consensus on the GST Bill.

Meanwhile, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is holding parleys with his party leaders to chalk out the future strategy in the Parliament on the GST Bill. (ANI)

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