Going against the party line, which expressed displeasure over the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, Congress leader Oscar Fernandes on Thursday supported the Centre’s move and said that the country would be benefitted under the new tax regime. “We have been very particular that we should pass the GST bill and it was UPA government under Dr. Manmohan Singh, Sonia ji, Chidambaram ji they had moved this bill. But the opposition was not willing cooperate with us. It would have revolutionized the whole regime, the business would have been picked up but unfortunately we could not do that. But the BJP having moved it, we have supported the move and I am sure the country will benefit out of this,” Fernandes told ANI.
Meanwhile, Condemning the Finance Bill, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was acting headstrong in the matter and not heeding the Opposition, adding that the amendments are against the economy.
“Earlier the Income Tax Commissioner and the director had the authority to give the permission for search and seizure. Now in these two amendment, 132 A and 133, they have given the authority to the Assistant Commissioners to do the income tax raid without any search warrant. These amendments are against businessmen and economy at large,” Singh told ANI.
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The Congress has also expressed its disappointment calling the development as a violation of the Constitution.
“It is not at all convincing because the law should be made by the Parliament. First time this has been abrogated. This is absolutely in the violation of the provisions of the Constitution,” Congress leader Veerappa Moily said.
Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said even though the BJP has won in amendments, it will not make the system transparent neither will benefit the public.
All bills related to GST was on Wednesday passed in Lok Sabha with voice votes by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who tabled the bills on Monday, briefed the BJP MPs about GST’s impact at the party’s parliamentary board meeting on Tuesday.
“As far as benefits are concerned, you can produce Aadhar. If you don’t have one, you can produce other ID and simultaneously apply for it,” said Arun Jaitley.
He further said that the Government will issue electoral bonds.
“There are lot of wild information going around over the authority of assessment officers over search and seizure,” added Jaitley.
“Let me clarify this under section 132, a satisfaction note must be submitted before search and entering premise and that has to be submitted in the court,” he added while notifying that the Finance Bill protects the source of information for tax evasion.
Earlier, Jaitley moved four Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha, which then took them up for discussion. The Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Bill, 2017, along with three other GST Bills were moved for consideration in the Lower House.