In the midst of acerbic wrangle between the ruling and the Opposition, the Central government’s tabling of Constitution Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) scheme should be welcomed and appreciated all the more because this Bill can form a first concrete step towards economic reforms. During its governance, the UPA II has come face to face with innumerable problems. But then why crib as no one but UPA itself is to be blamed for such controversial confrontations. Also, political happenings (or mishappenings) should never be allowed to come in the way of economic reforms. Unfortunately, this has been allowed in the past. In the present, building up on pending economic reforms is a far cry with even the day-to-day administrative work piling up. This is happening because the ruling coalition is pre-occupied with attempts to refurbish its image and get rid of the cases of corruptions it has been blamed for. In such ambience, initiative by the government to create a common countrywide market for Goods and Services gives inkling that finally the Centre has realized its responsibility. Undoubtedly, the role of Opposition is to highlight the weakness of the ruling government and to put them to task. But it is also required on their part to support the government on issues of national interest, especially the matters relating to development of the nation. As such, it is not correct to create impediments for the GST similar to the one created during the time of passing of Value Added Tax (VAT). There is no use of discussion-consultation on any topic if the main motive is to create a deadlock.

Political reasons emerge behind the pending of GST. The state governments have rejected three drafts of GST Bill. Some states are not even satisfied with the fourth draft. Goods and Service Tax scheme was to be implemented in April 2010, but considering the present situation it is difficult to ascertain confidently if this Bill could come into effect even by April 2012. It would be better if the political parties reassure that the agendas meant for economic developments are not sacrificed in the name of party politics. The party politics can be retained in political matters but in case of economic issues it must be avoided. Our political parties should learn a lesson from those countries where economic reforms are taking place despite political instability and change of ruling party. To play political games in economic matters is like holding the nation a hostage. In this context it cannot be ignored that industry and business sectors are eagerly waiting for economic reforms. Undoubtedly, only the tabling of GST in Lok Sabha will not suffice because the Banking Amendment Bill presented is yet to take the shape of a law. The UPA government had promised to pass this Bill in its first term itself which is still pending. It is true that the Central government is lax about economic reforms, but whenever it shows any interest in this direction it is liable for the Opposition to support it at any cost.