The government will seek to ensure that the bill on a pan-India goods and services tax (GST) will be passed in the upcoming session of parliament that starts on July 18, parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu said on Wednesday.
“We held a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs. The prime minister (Narendra Modi) presided over the meeting. We were all in favour of bringing the GST bill in the monsoon session of parliament,” Naidu said.
“There is a lot of consensus on the issue. There are some concerns as well. Both myself and the finance minister (Arun Jaitley) will speak to political parties. The prime minister has already said he is himself ready to talk to political leaders,” the minister said after the meeting.
“We feel this is a very important bill and we do hope it will be passed in the monsoon session.”
The government is hopeful after it added five more seats in the Rajya Sabha earlier this month taking the NDA tally to 74. Between the budget session that ended on May 13 and now, the government has worked hard on garnering opposition support for the bill in Rajya Sabha to make up for the lack of numbers.
Investors have billed the proposed GST as a “silver bullet” for India’s economy that would replace multiple federal and state levies - a chaotic structure that inflates costs for businesses.
The opposition Congress party, however, has blocked the measure in parliament.
Announcing the dates for the upcoming monsoon session, Venkaiah Naidu said, it will end on August 12. The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA), headed by the home minister Rajnath Singh.
“A lot of bills are pending in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Some are in standing committee. Three ordinances are also pending, these will also be brought up in the session,” he added.
(With inputs from agencies)