Congress was never against GST: Ghulam Nabi Azad

New Delhi, Aug 3 : Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Wednesday welcomed the Centre's move to make amendments in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, adding the Congress' main concern was to ensure that both industries and consumers avail benefits from the legislation.

Azad also expressed hope that the GST, which has been a demand from past many years, would now be finally passed.

"We are lending our support. And now, it will also be clear that we were not deliberately stopping the GST, we were not against it.

Our concern was that both industries and consumers should be benefitted from the bill. I am happy that the Centre has considered the amendments proposed by the Congress Party," said Azad. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier said the GST Bill is one of the most important tax reforms in India's history, adding a reform like this legislation cannot be passed on partisan consensus.

Jaitley said the select committee made some suggestions and the government decided to make some radical changes.

The Finance Minister said the states and the Centre need to work together on the bill. Jaitley said India will be one economic marketplace after the passage of GST. "The GST Bill will empower the states. It will increase revenue of states as well as Centre. It will ensure that there is "no tax on tax"," said Jaitley. "With a uniform tax rate, we will be able to bring about seamless transfer of goods and services across country," he added.

The Rajya Sabha has taken up discussion on the One Hundred Twenty Second Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014, also known as the GST Bill.

When the House re-assembled post lunch, Jaitley moved the bill for consideration and passage. The BJP and Congress have issued a whip to all its members in the Rajya Sabha asking them to be present in the House for the next three days.

Source: ANI