Government trying to cover up economic failures: Congress

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi

New Delhi:(IANS) The Congress on Tuesday said the ruling BJP was trying to project that non-passage of GST Bill was a reason for the government’s “poor performance” and cover up its “economic failures” by blaming the opposition.

Talking to media persons here, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi took digs at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over government’s efforts to push the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, noting that the legislation was “stalled during the previous United Progressive Alliance government”.

“Arun Jaitley finds GST in much public interest. This has dawned after seven years,” he said.

“As the session draws to a close, the obduracy and obstinacy of the government is matched only by the studied silence of the prime minister. We are happy that the BJP, the prime minister and Arun Jaitley, are finding the GST to be so much in the public interest.”

Citing Index of Industrial Production data for May, Singhvi said it the government’s performance was quite low on parameters such as factory output and capital goods growth compared to data for May last year.

“You (government) are really trying to create confusion to cover up economic failures,” he said.

Noting Congress’ opposition to some provisions of the GST bill was based on national interest,  Singhvi said among the issues of difference was that Congress wanted an independent body to resolve disputes between states but the government had left the task to the GST council itself.

“We want that GST should come in an effective way,” he said.

“One of the objections is that the rate must have a limitation, a ceiling. It can be 15 percent, it can be 18 percent.

“Another issue which we raised was that when there is a dispute between the states, as is very likely, you must create an independent resolution body.

“This is common sense. The government obdurately and obstinately insists that the Dispute Resolution Body should be the GST council itself,” Singhvi added.

He contended that the parliament was facing a stalemate due to “obduracy of the government and silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

Asked if the party had changed its stance of seeking resignations of three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders to a discussion under adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha, he said the Congress wanted an adjournment motion as it could lead to censure.

Congress leaders said there was no change in the party’s stance.

They said since their demand for adjournment motion was not being accepted, they have been maintaining that discussion under other rules can take place after the BJP leaders resign.

The Congress and some parties are demanding the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their alleged help to former IPL chief Lalit Modi, who is facing an Enforcement Directorate investigation, and of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.

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