GST bill to come up in Rajya Sabha amidst Cong blockade

11 Aug 2015


The government will make a last ditch effort to get the much-awaited bill on the goods and services tax (GST) passed in the Rajya Sabha today even as the opposition Congress continues with its tactics of stalling Parliament.

The government has incorporated the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-second Amendment) Bill, 2014 in the revised list of business for Tuesday.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley will move the GST bill incorporating recommendations made by a House Select Committee for passage in the Rajya Sabha today.

The GST bill that seeks to replace all indirect taxes with a uniform levy has already been approved by the Lok Sabha and has since been referred to a Rajya Sabha panel.

While endorsing a majority of the provisions, the panel has suggested changes in compensation to states as also the definition of supply for the purpose of states levying additional one per cent tax.

The centre has tried to build a political consensus and managed to get state governments on board over implementation of GST, but with the Congress bent on stalling House proceedings, the GST bill could meet the same fate as the Land bill.

The chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers K M Mani had expressed hope for GST roll out from 1 April 2016, as planned.

"I am not pessimistic about it, I am optimistic, I think we can implement GST by beginning of next fiscal... Most states are on board for GST roll out," Mani had said.

The GST bill, however, is unlikely to be deliberated in Parliament as the Congress, which initiated the bill, does not want the Modi government to get the credit for securing passage of the bill.

With the current monsoon session of Parliament set to end on 13 August, the GST Constitution Amendment Bill is unlikely to get nod of Rajya Sabha, where the Congress in a major force.

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