Congress not trying to block GST, party has some concerns: Anand Sharma

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Monday said that the party had some concerns about the goods and services tax (GST) but it was not trying to block the proposed tax.

Addressing a special plenary session of Confederation of Indian Industry here, Sharma said GST should be there and it will happen.

"The government may say the our concerns are not correct. But I as an Indian citizen feel that the concerns we have registered with the government are correct," he said, adding that issues of surcharge, in-built dispute redressal mechanism and a realistic cap on proposed tax as the contentious areas.

He, however, assured that Opposition will have a meeting point with the government over the issue.

"We hope we will have a meeting point. We are engaged with the government and I assure our objective is definitely not to block it," he said.

Sharma also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for acknowledging "unfair" criticism of his predecessor Manmohan Singh by BJP.

"We are very happy that the present prime minister has realised that what they said about Manmohan Singh in 2008 was unfair and what we did was to serving the supreme national interests of the country. We are grateful," he said.

Citing opening up of insurance, banking, telecom, multi-brand retail sector and FDI in civil aviation sectors by the previous government in the centre, he demanded the government to end the confusion over foreign investments in the country.

"What I would expect that confusion must end for the foreign investors. Two years down the line please tell the investors that its on," he said.

The deputy leader of Congress in the Rajya Sabha also criticised the nationalism debate and said it was not going to help India enhance its competitiveness in the global market place.

"Do I need a minister, who never went to a university, with due respect, that what should be the height at which the tricolour should be unfurled in central Universities," he said about the need for peaceful environment in the country to facilitate ease of doing business.

He also pointed to "urgent and serious" need of administrative reforms and cutting of red tape to ensure that country attains competitiveness and maintains it in future.


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