GST bill: Opposition in Lok Sabha stages walk-out

New Delhi, April 24: The Congress and some other opposition parties staged a walk-out in the Lok Sabha on Friday after the government rejected their demand to refer the goods and services tax (GST) bill to a standing committee.

Several Congress members, including its leader in the house Mallikarjun Kharge, demanded that the bill be sent to a standing committee.


Deputy Speaker and AIADMK member M Thambidurai said that allowing discussion on the bill will curtail the time needed to discuss demands for grants of various ministries.

Bjiu Janata Dal members said they did not get enough time to move amendments.

Congress members said that the new constitution amendment bill was quite different from that brought in 2011 and should be examined by a standing committee.

"It is not a replica. There are fundamental differences. There is no consensus among various states," Congress member M. Veerapa Moily said. [India's ability to absorb economic shocks is stronger, says Arun Jaitley]

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the GST legislation had been widely discussed. He said apart from a standing committee, the bill had been discussed by the empowered committee of state ministers since 2008.

"Nobody has monopoly to stop growth of country. The UPA must support legislation you created," he said.

With Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asking views of the government in view of demands from the opposition, Jaitley said that the discussion can be taken up later but he should be allowed to make introductory remarks to start the discussion.

As Jaitley started speaking on the bill, members of several opposition parties including Congress, Left, Aam Aadmi Party, Nationalist Congress Party and Trinamool Congress staged a walk out.


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