The ruling party was in for major embarrassment on Monday when the Opposition in the Assembly used a technicality to stall a Bill that aimed at increasing value added tax (VAT) on more than 100 items.
After Finance Minister, Sunil Tatkare, tabled the Bill, Opposition leader, Eknath Khadse [Bharatiya Janata Party] and Peasants and Workers Party [PWP] member Ganpatrao Deshmukh argued that the government did not supplement the bill with a statement of finance, which shows how much the government will earn through the amendment.
PWP legislator, Vivek Patil, proposed that the Bill be referred to a joint committee of legislators. Khadse and Deshmukh refused to debate on the Bill.
Arguments continued between the minister and the Opposition for at least 15 minutes. The Opposition read out Constitutional requirements that need to be completed while tabling any finance Bill. Tatkare had no answer to these points.
The Opposition prevailed after Presiding Officer, Sadashiv Patil, asked Tatkare to complete the formalities and table the Bill on Tuesday.
The government, however, is likely to get the Bill approved using its majority in the Assembly, opposition notwithstanding.