With the Congress taking the National Herald case to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's doorstep on Wednesday, hopes of the GST Bill being passed by the Rajya Sabha have receded even more, reflecting in the sixth straight day loss at the stock markets.
On Wednesday, 9 December, a combative Rahul Gandhi attributed the National Herald case to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
"This is 100% pure political vendetta coming out of the PM's Office. This is their way of doing politics. I have full faith in the legal system of this country and we will see at the end what comes out. The truth will come out," he was quoted by ANI as telling reporters in New Delhi.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, the most significant indirect tax reform, aims at "economic integration" of the country, in the words of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, but with a belligerent Congress fighting out the National Herald case in Parliament, there is little hope that it will support the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA government is in a minority.
The Bill, which industry leaders expect would add about 2% to India's gross domestic product (GDP), is crucial even otherwise to replace archaic indirect tax levies that stifle seamless movement of goods among states, besides resulting in corruption.
It is expected to spur domestic demand at a time when the global economy is facing headwinds, reflecting in exports from India falling for the 11th straight month in a row in October.
Simplest way I know of understanding the significance of the GS Tax: In a fragile world,India's Brahmastra is its huge domestic market (1/2)
â€” anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) December 8, 2015
The intransigence in Parliament caused by the Congress, which is crying foul over the National Herald case and accusing the ruling BJP of indulging in "vendetta", is now seeing the saffron party hitting back with the same charge, as is evident from a tweet by Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, national vice-president of the party.
Blocking GST is political vendetta!Opposition must allow parl to function for aspiring masses and not allow conspiring classes a last laugh!
â€” Vinay Sahasrabuddhe (@vinay1011) December 9, 2015
Samir Arora, fund manager and founder of Helios Capital, said even global markets are being impacted by the uncertainty on the GST legislation.
Global markets fall on uncertainty about passage of GST bill
â€” Samir Arora (@Iamsamirarora) December 8, 2015
The markets are not taking kindly to the impasse over the GST Bill, with the Sensex losing for the sixth straight day on Wednesday. It was trading at 25,054, down 255 points, or 1.01%.