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Manmohan hails GST passage

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hailed the passage of GST bills by Parliament and sought to play down the fact that it could not happen during his tenure, saying “let bygones be bygones”.

Observing that the new indirect tax regime could be a “game-changer”, he, however, cautioned that there could be “difficulties” in its implementation.

He pressed for constructive cooperation between the Centre and the states in resolving outstanding issues.

“There will be pitfalls. But we learn as we go along,” he told reporters after Parliament approved four GST-supporting legislations, clearing the decks for the rollout of the historic indirect tax regime from July 1.

Asked whether he felt disappointed that it could not happen during his tenure, the former Prime Minister said, “well I think, let bygones be bygones.”

On whether the measure would help increase the GDP, he said, “it could be a game-changer but we should not assume that there will be no difficulties on the way. There must be a constructive spirit of cooperation between the federal government and the states to resolve the outstanding issues.”

The Central GST Bill, 2017; The Integrated GST Bill, 2017; The GST (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017; and The Union Territory GST Bill, 2017 were returned by the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote as all parties were on board.

—PTI