The much-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill that provides for an indirect tax structure is set to be considered by the Union cabinet on Wednesday so that it can be introduced in the third week of the winter session of Parliament.
Sources in the government told HT that the GST Bill has been added in the Centre's internal list of proposed agenda, although the revised bill is yet to get cabinet approval. The move shows the Centre's urgency to push key economic reforms before the next budget.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley told Parliament this week that the government has arrived at a broad consensus on the GST bill.
"The next meeting of the Empowered Committee of the state finance minister has been called very shortly," he said.
The government proposes to implement GST from April 1, 2016, and the new Finance Commission may be set up earlier to look into the issues related with the new indirect tax regime. The GST aims at subsuming most of the indirect taxes at the central as well as state level.
Government managers are "satisfied" with the outcome of the last week in Parliament as it was able to push a few pending bills.
However, they were not sure the GST bill can be passed in this session. A section of the Opposition wants the bill to be sent to a standing committee as the new bill has many changes from the original draft.
"We would like to see the bill sent to a standing committee as it involves major stake for state governments," said Bhartruhari Mahtab of BJD, a party that is usually supportive of the NDA's reforms efforts.