With just four sittings left in the ongoing monsoon session, the chances of getting the Constitution Amendment Bill for Goods & Services Tax (GST) passed are becoming bleak.
“India is at risk of missing the deadline for GST if the Constitution amendment bill does not get passed in the monsoon session,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told BusinessLine here on Friday. The Government intends to introduce GST from April 1 next year.
Sinha said the Government is pushing hard to get the bill passed and will continue to do so during the remaining period of the session. However, the principal Opposition is not willing to rethink its stand. A senior Congress leader blamed the Government for such a situation.
But the problem is that the Constitution Amendment Bill cannot be passed in a din. It needs order in the House. It will require a ‘yes’ vote from at least two-thirds of the members ‘present and voting’. Since the bill is to be passed in the Rajya Sabha first after the Select Committee gives its report, and the Government is in minority there, the situation is difficult.
Once both houses of Parliament approve the bill, it will need the nod of at least half of the State Assemblies. Then, the President will give his assent. After that, three legislations — for CGST, SGST and IGST — would have to be enacted. Only then would the new indirect tax reform be implemented.