Davos: There seems to be no let up in the war between the ruling government and the Congress party over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill.
In the latest salvo over the Congress' objections to the proposed tax, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today described as preposterous the party's demand for putting a cap on tax rate in the Constitution Bill and tariffs are not mentioned in the statute anywhere in the world.
"Three new propositions are now raised (by Congress) including a preposterous one that tariff must be mentioned in Constitution of India. Now if they can tell me that anywhere else in the world this happens that tariffs are mentioned in Constitution.
"So every time there is a drought, flood and you need to increase the tax rate, you have to first go to all states in India to change the tax rate. This is something which is just not possible," he said.
Jaitley said no tariff can ever be perpetual. "When the volumes go up it will come down, in crisis it may go up. And therefore the concept of cap didn't strike either of your two finance ministers when your government was in power.
"Now if you are wiser just because you are in opposition, the situation has changed. What you have proposed on the file (during P Chidambaram's tenure) I am quite willing to accept that," he said during a panel discussion.
Jaitely, however, added that GST is certainly going to come.
"GST is certainly going to come. I have already conveyed to Congress leaders that I am willing to go to the states for the one per cent thing. I have privately conveyed that and I have no hesitation in admitting that publicly," he said.
On dispute resolution also, Congress should check what P Chidambaram had proposed (as the then Finance Minister). If the Congress party has turned wiser now, then......" Jaitley said leaving the audience in a peel of laughter.
(With inputs from PTI)