New Delhi, Aug 31: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the decision to let the land acquisition ordinance to lapse is not a setback for the government and the alternative route adopted by the Centre will provide greater flexibility to the states to deal with the issue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday announced that the government will not re-promulgate the controversial Ordinance on Land Acquisition which expires today and declared readiness to incorporate any suggestion in the bill, which is pending in Rajya Sabha.
"I won't call it a setback. It is set forward. Rather than involve ourselves in political stalemate and remain parked in a traffic jam situation, we take the alternative route, which has lesser political cost, allow greater flexibility to the states... and states who want to get benefit out of it, get the benefit out of it," Jaitley said.
Earlier last week, the government had issued an order to include 13 central acts like national highway and railways acts to extend benefits to those whose land is acquired under the land law.
Talking to ET Now, Jaitley said rather than allowing the parliamentary stalemate to carry on, the Centre followed an alternative route which will give flexibility to states to change land acquisition laws as per their requirement.
Replying to queries on GST bill, which is held up in Rajya Sabha, the minister said he was in touch with the Congress party. Stating that Congress was unsure of their stand, he added that the Opposition party was "the one who pioneered this and they are the one who is picking holes in their own proposals.
"Now that is a politically unsustainable situation... in the Budget session they told us, we will do it in the next session. Now they are saying that we are not against the GST, but we have some suggestions... all right we will discuss the suggestions with them.. now they say don't do it right now. Do it after a little while," he said.
The constitution amendment bill to roll out GST, a new indirect tax regime, has been passed by Lok Sabha, but is stuck in the Upper House where the government does not have majority.