Govt confident of GST Bills’ passage in winter session

By | November 4, 2016

Govt confident of GST Bills’ passage in winter session

With elections in five states — including Uttar Pradesh — on the anvil, several raging controversies from an alleged fake encounter in Madhya Pradesh and the suicide of an ex-serviceman, the forthcoming winter session of Parliament is set to be rocky. But government sources were on Thursday confident of ensuring the passage of the supporting goods and services tax (GST)-related Bills. Enthused by the consensus in reaching four-tiered GST tax structure, particularly the unanimity achieved with Congress-ruled states, senior government sources were confident that the Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) Bills will be passed by both the Houses. Even if the Opposition were to disrupt proceedings, the government has an ace up its sleeve. It could suggest to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha that the two Bills be designated ‘Money Bills’. The government has a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha but is in a minority in the Rajya Sabha. The passage of the two Bills during the winter session and of the State GST Bill by state assemblies should help meet the GST roll-out date of April 1, 2017, government sources said. The government had advanced the winter session by a week so that the April 1 roll-out deadline could be met. It also plans to present the budget in the first week of February instead of February-end. The government anticipates the Opposition to raise issues ranging from ‘surgical strikes’, the alleged fake encounter of undertrials in Madhya Pradesh, the suicide of an ex-serviceman in protest of government not implementing ‘One Rank, One Pension’ scheme and farmer suicides. Government sources indicated the government was willing to have discussions on all issues. The Bharatiya Janata Party is confident that any controversy around issues of ‘nationalism’ could only help its election campaign in Uttar Pradesh and other states. The monsoon session of Parliament, despite heated debates on several issues and disruption of proceedings, was productive with both Houses passing nearly a dozen Bills and also managing to hold debates and discussions on burning issues. Government sources believe the same spirit of accommodation will be shown by both sides in the winter session. – www.business-standard.com[04-11-2016]

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