"We are willing to speak to any of their leaders," Jaitley was quoted as saying by a private channel. Asked if that includes Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley said, "Certainly, why not?" The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will subsume more than a dozen state levies to create a single market, is to be implemented from April 1, 2016. But the deadline may be missed if Parliament does not pass the Constitution Amendment Bill in the upcoming winter session.

"I would try and persuade them to have it cleared now, as soon as possible, because it is going to be one of the most important reforms in India," he stated.

Once the bill is passed, more than half of the states have to ratify it before Parliament passes another enabling bill to implement GST.

The GST rate would have to be set by the proposed GST Council, which will be headed by the Union Finance Minister and have state ministers as members.

The Congress is opposed to states being given powers to levy 1 percent tax over and above the GST rate. Also, it wants alcohol and petroleum products to be included in the GST regime.

"Since it is a Constitution amendment and it will stand the test of time, I don't want to create an architecture which is faulty, and some of their suggestions could hurt that architecture," Jaitley said when asked if he would compromise.

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