A day after corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily blamed the Opposition for stalling reforms, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, and BJP leader, Yashwant Sinha, hit back saying Moily was “completely off the mark and had stated blatant untruths”. Sinha said the parliamentary panel had already submitted its report on Direct Tax Code in March and it was meeting every week to examine the Goods and Services Tax bill to have the report ready by the monsoon session of Parliament which begins by the end of this month.
Moily had said that GST and DTC were with the parliamentary panel and could be in place soon if the Opposition cooperated.
Sinha said the minister had no right to blame BJP for holding up legislations. He said the standing committee had cleared nine bills, including those on pension, raising FDI cap in insurance and banking reforms but the government was sitting on them.
He said earlier Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had criticised NDA in an interview and now Moily was doing the same.
He said the government had wanted the panel to hurry with reports on the narcotics and money laundering bills to meet international commitments. “We hurried with them but the bills were not passed in the budget session. After that we started examining GST bill,” he said.
Speaking of the timeline for implementing GST, Yashwant Sinha said it cannot be done overnight with a magic wand.
“It’s a crucial piece of legislation and it will need a number of legal and administrative procedures to be in place.” Sinha said the legislation has to be endorsed by at least 50% of state legislatures after which Parliament will have to clear amendments to Acts under which GST can be implemented. Rules under these Acts will be notified later.