Sources said the senior ministers of the NDA government are in touch with various parties to ensure there is no last-minute hitch. Government plans to bring the Bill in the first week itself of the monsoon session.
NEW DELHI: The NDA government has now got the arithmetic right in the Rajya Sabha for passage of the crucial Goods and Services Tax Bill and is likely to move it for consideration and passage in the first week of the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament even if the main Opposition Congress refuses to come on board.
Though the NDA still does not enjoy a majority in the Upper House, the recent biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha have tilted the equation in its favour to the extent that the Narendra Modi government can get the GST Bill—a constitutional amendment Bill that requires at least 50% attendance and support of two-third of those present and voting—passed without the Congress.
Sources said the senior ministers of the NDA government are in touch with various parties to ensure there is no last-minute hitch. Government plans to bring the Bill in the first week itself of the monsoon session. Once cleared by Parliament, the Bill will have to be passed by at least half of the state Assemblies before it becomes an Act. The government is looking at April, 2017 as the deadline for implementing the GST Act.
Congress and the AIADMK are the only two parties that are opposed to the GST. Sources said there has been some give and take between the Congress and BJP on the three sticky points.
While Congress is veering around to giving up the demand for putting the tax cap in the Act itself, the government may give up the 1% additional tax to be imposed on manufacturing states. There may be some tweaking of the GST Councilwhich will deal with grievance redressalcomposition as well.
BJP is optimistic that since GST was originally a UPA Bill, Congress would not want to be seen opposing it when it is put to vote. However, BJP leaders are wary of support from Sonia or Rahul Gandhi on the day of passage of the Bill.
AIADMK, which has 13 members, is opposed to the GST Bill but sources say after TN CM J Jayalalithaa met PM Narendra Modi on June 14, an understanding has been reached. AIADMK may either stage a walkout or support the Bill.
The NDA numbers add up to 83 now. BJP’s strength has gone up to 54 from 46. Subramanian Swamy and Navjot Singh Sidhu, nominated members, have now formally become BJP legislators.
Non-Congress parties like SP, BSP, TMC, DMK, JD(U), BJD, NCP and TRS are also likely to support the Bill. CPM and CPI, having eight and one member, have come out in support of the Bill.
Source : http://www.timesofindia.com/india/Govt-feels-it-has-got-numbers-in-Rajya-Sabha-to-move-GST-Bill/articleshow/52970491.cms