India's main opposition Congress party blocks tax reform legislation

Opposition lawmakers have blocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to simplify India's taxation laws, a key part of his plans to boost Asia's third-biggest economy.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitely introduced the legislation Tuesday in the upper house of Parliament with just two days left in Parliament's current three-week session.

The bill would replace India's multiple national and state taxes with a single tax regime.

Opposition Congress party lawmakers, whose support is crucial for approving the bill, blocked the proceedings. They instead demanded the resignation of three key ruling party leaders accused of abusing their authority and financial irregularities.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party denies any wrongdoing by them.

Jaitley said tax reform would turn India into a single market with a uniform rate of taxation for both goods and services.