‘Constructive’ exercise bears fruit, Rajya Sabha to take up GST bill next week

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 29, 2016 14:57 IST
The government is keen to get the GST bill approved during the monsoon session of Parliament ending August 12. (Arvind Yadav/ HT File Photo)

The government listed the much-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill on Friday for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha’s agenda for the next week.

Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, while making a statement regarding government business for the week starting August 1 in the Upper House, said the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 will be taken up for consideration and passage.

The government has been making efforts to pull together a consensus on the bill, reaching out to the Opposition parties.

On July 27, the Cabinet cleared changes in the legislation, dropping the controversial 1% manufacturing tax and guaranteeing compensation for states for any revenue loss in the first five years of the ambitious indirect tax regime’s rollout.

A resolution of the prolonged political stalemate appeared in sight on Thursday with the government and the opposition Congress reaching a broad understanding on contentious issues.

This came after two rounds of meetings between senior Congress leaders and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley. The nitty-gritty will be sorted out in the next few days, sources involved in the process told HT.

The Congress described this exercise as “constructive and positive”. Sources close to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also confirmed that there was “progress in talks” over the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill.

The government is keen to get the GST bill approved during the monsoon session of Parliament ending August 12.

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in May 2015, and vetted by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee.

However, the measure got stuck in the Upper House, where the government does not have majority, as the opposition Congress sought changes in it.

Once the Rajya Sabha clears the legislation, the amended bill will be returned to the Lok Sabha for its approval.

The GST legislation, which intends to convert 29 states into a single market through a new indirect tax regime, was earlier planned to be introduced from April 1 this year, but the deadline was missed as the legislation remained in limbo in the Opposition-dominated Rajya Sabha.

With inputs from PTI

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