Venkaiah Naidu hopeful of passage of GST in Budget Session

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Mumbai, Feb 12: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said he is confident that bills pertaining to formation of a realty regulator and the much-awaited indirect taxation reform GST will be passed in the upcoming Budget session, and hoped that Congress will cooperate in ensuring the functioning of Parliament.

"The major issue is disruption and obstruction of Parliament. They (Congress) didn't allow two sessions. I hope Congress, which is supposed to have lot of maturity and experience because they've ruled the country for so many years, understands and cooperates," Naidu told reporters here.

venkaiah-naidu

Dismissing Congress's contention that nobody reached out to them, he reminded that the GST Bill was introduced first by the Congress in 2008. "I'm definitely confident and optimistic. We've spent and wasted enough time on it. Now the time has come for us to come together. It is unfortunate that Congress is saying that we've not reached out to them," Naidu said, adding that both Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and he himself had spoken to Congress leaders, including the Gandhis.

Commenting on the Congress's current stance of stalling Parliament and then putting forth certain changes in the bill it wants, Naidu said, "They're raising certain issues which they did not raise when they brought the Bill in 2008. We're trying to address them, but certain things are impossible."

"If they raise issues and are ready to hear the side of the government, there is no problem," he said hoping that Congress, with its over five-decade experience of being in power, will cooperate. Naidu, who also handles the Urban Development portfolio, exuded confidence that a bill to have a realty regulator will also be passed in the session which begins on February 23.

"In a democracy, you've to take care of the will of the people and that's why this bill (on realty regulator) is coming. I'm sure the bill will get Parliament nod in the coming session," he said addressing an annual congregation of leaders from IT sector organised by industry's lobby body, NASSCOM, here.

Naidu said passing the Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill is essential because in the absence of a watchdog, people can be fleeced by fly-by-night operators in the sector. The Union Cabinet had in December 2015 cleared 20 amendments to the bill, which seeks to regulate transactions between buyers and promoters of residential real estate projects by establishing state-level regulatory authorities.

PTI 

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