New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed his concern over the repeated disruptions in the Parliament which had led to the stalling of crucial bills, saying that the logjam in both houses was a "matter of sorrow".
“It is a matter of sorrow that Parliament is not running. Democracy cannot function at the whims and fancies of anyone," Modi said in a sharp reaction to the Winter Session proceedings, as both the houses were paralysed due to opposition protests and sloganeering.
He said that the rights of the poor are being ignored with the Parliament not functioning. ‘It is not only GST but many pro-poor steps are stuck in Parliament,’ he said.
Modi said that the Government has requested opposition parties to allow the Parliament to function.
"We are requesting that the Parliament be allowed to run. There cannot be a bigger forum than Parliament for discussion, debate and communication. But if we will negate the institution itself, then there will be question marks on democracy itself," he said.
"We have to keep in mind the dignity of democracy and enact laws for the benefits of the common man and the country. We have to lay emphasis on it, strengthen it," the Prime Minister said.
Drawing an analogy with musical instrument Sitar, he said its both strings need to be tightened to strike the right note as if even one is loose, the right music will not come out.
"If one has influence, one has to convince people of one's views and carry them with him. We cannot run the country like this. In a democracy, you have to connect, you have to assimilate. If you have to dilute (your stand), dilute it," he added.
Hopes of the GST Bill getting passed were raised after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh to break the ice over the critical reform measure.
A panel headed by chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian recommended the maximum possible tax base under the proposed Goods and Services Tax should be taxed at the standard rate, which it proposed be kept at 17-18 per cent. It also backed scrapping the controversial proposal of one per cent additional levy by states on the cross-border transport of goods.
These had met the Congress’ two key demands on the tax rate and removing the one per cent additional levy. However, with repeated adjournments in both the houses, it appears that the GST Bill may get further delayed.
Earlier, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, had warned opposition parties that efforts to create hurdles in the passage of the Goods and Services Tax would amount to damaging the country.
“India desperately needs GST, businesses and trade need GST and anybody who tries to create hurdles in passing GST will be doing great damage to the country,” he had said....