Amendment Bill for GST likely to be taken up after Wednesday

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on April 27, 2015

Govt in parleys with Opposition parties to build support for legislation

The Government is likely to take up the Constitution Amendment Bill for the Goods and Services Tax in the Lok Sabha only on Wednesday, in what is being seen as an attempt to buy time and get support from the Opposition Congress party.

By then, the entire Budget process is expected to get over in the Lower House. The Bill, introduced in December last year and moved for further action on April 24 this year, was listed for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Instead, the House focused on demands for grants as sought by the Opposition.

Preliminary list

The preliminary list of business for April 28, as placed on the website of the Lok Sabha till 8 p.m., did not mention the Bill.

The Lok Sabha is currently debating and voting on demands for grants for various ministries. After this, it is scheduled to take up the Finance Bill for consideration and passage on Wednesday. This would mean that the House will be able to debate and vote on the Bill only on Thursday. The Business Advisory Committee has already granted four hours’ time for the same.

When the Bill was moved on April 24, the Opposition had raised procedural issues and wanted to know why it was suddenly listed in a “hush-hush” manner on a day when financial business was on.

Also they wanted to know why it was not being sent to the Standing Committee since it was a Constitutional amendment Bill with new clauses. Although the Speaker ruled out referring the Bill to a Standing Committee, she did say that the government could consider taking the Bill after demands for grants are ‘guillotined’ on April 28.

Though the government will not have any problem in getting the Bill passed in the Lok Sabha, it needs support from the Congress and other political parties in the Rajya Sabha to get it passed.

The government is also in talks with the AIADMK, Trinamool Congress and Biju Janata Dal for support.

In fact, the AIADMK-led government in Tamil Nadu has made it clear that the current proposal of the government to introduce a Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST and then to evolve a consensus on various aspects of GST through the GST Council, especially on the actual tax rates and tax bands, is not acceptable.

Published on April 27, 2015
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