With no ‘assurance’ yet from the Congress to help the government pass the long-pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, NDA managers may not immediately zero in on the possible schedule of the winter session of the Parliament.
Earlier, some ministers had underlined that the Centre has an option of calling an early winter session to allow more time for the passage of the GST bill. In a recent informal meeting of senior ministers, it was decided to wait further — possibly till the polling in Bihar assembly elections ends — before deciding the schedule of the all-important session.
Sources also indicated that the session may be scheduled from the third week of November and will last till December 23. “We may stick to the normal schedule of the winter session as a longer session may not yield results,” said a senior official.
A senior Congress official, however, told HT that the party is not in a mood to support the bill during the winter session unless the government accepted the seven amendments proposed by the party. “We are in no hurry to support the GST bill. We are the original architects of the GST mechanism but we feel that the present draft of the bill is not helpful for the economy,” said the leader.
Apart from the GST bill, the Centre also has the real estate bill — a legislation to regulate the booming real estate market — in the pipeline. The government also intends to push through bills on labour reforms.
Opposition leaders also feel that the Bihar election results may have a bearing on the session. “If the BJP-led NDA loses the polls, the Opposition will certainly enjoy an upper hand in the session, at least temporarily,” a leader said.