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Will continue with GST dialogue, says govt

Addressing BJP MPs at its Parliamentary Party meet, Modi also asked them to prepare a report on the developmental work they have carried out.

“Our approach is that of building consensus. This will continue on the future GST bills, including establishment of the GST council. We will continue with the GST dialogue,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told them.

Later, Kumar told reporters that Prime Minister also heaped praise on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu for their efforts in bringing different political parties around to supporting the bill. “He said the passage of GST bill is the best example of cooperative federalism in India’s history,” Kumar said.

Speaking to party members, which included Union ministers, Modi also asked them to make untiring efforts to make the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ between August 15-22 a success, saying it is a symbol of social harmony and unity. He promoted the yatra as a measure to spread harmony.

The theme song for BJP’s 15-day exercise ‘70 Saal Azadi- Zara Yaad Karo Kurbani’ to mark Independence Day was also released in the meeting, Kumar told reporters after the meeting.

Kesiraju Srinivas, popularly known as Ghazal Srinivas, who holds a record for singing in most languages, has composed the song, he said.

Modi also asked the party leaders to publicise recent initiatives of the government like the passage of GST Bill in Parliament, Kumar said. 

“The Tiranga Yatra will be a symbol of development, social harmony and unity. It will spread harmony,” Modi said.

Schools should discuss the lives of freedom fighters as it will inspire students, he said, adding, pupils should visit memorials associated with the martyrs.  He asked party MPs to carry out the Tiranga Yatra on two- wheelers and visit all corners of the country, Kumar said.

Jaitley and Kumar also spoke at the meeting. The Monsoon session of the Parliament has been productive with 11 bills passed in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha each, a party leader said.

Keen to roll out Goods and Service Tax (GST) by the target date of April 1, 2017, the government will launch an outreach programme to address concerns of small traders. “We are trying to complete GST formalities to roll out GST regime within the target date,” Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said at a seminar here.

The GST will replace more than a dozen levies central and state levies, including central excise duty, service tax and central sales tax as well as VAT on sale of goods to make movement of goods seamless across 1.3 billion market.

“GST will usher in economic revolution,” he said.

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