Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for all political parties to cooperate during the Winter Session of Parliament that begins on Wednesday. In an address to all members of Parliament on Tuesday, Modi had asked all parties to work together and change the negative image of politicians in the country. “Parliament is the right forum to send out a positive message about politicians by addressing the issues appropriately. It is time we send out a positive message to the people,” he said.
While Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was certain that bills related to the Goods and Services Tax Bill would be passed in Parliament during the month-long session – one to allow the Centre to impose a Central GST, another for an Integrated GST which involves more than one state and a model bill to allow states to impose their respective State GST.
The uniform tax is likely to be impacted by the demonetisation. Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said, “Right now, the main issue is the surgical jumla of the demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The GST is not in our radar screen.”
Several Opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, have been preparing to corner the ruling National Democratic Alliance over its surprise move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The parties have called the move a severe inconvenience to the common man, while some even accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of warning its top brass before announcing the decision.
Modi had announced the demonetisation of high-value currency notes on November 8 in an attempt to crack down on corruption and black money. He has thanked the public for their cooperation while exchanging their old currency and promised their inconvenience will only last 50 days.
The government’s decision to scrap old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 current notes has met massive opposition, and politicians across parties have criticised the move as “anti-poor”. While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had alleged that Modi had warned his aides before making the announcement, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Kerala Congress, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi, and many others have called it a “draconian decision”.