New Delhi: The most discussed, Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill has finally been listed for consideration and passage in the Upper House for next week. On Monday Sources indicated that the Bill, vacant by the Lok Sabha more than a year before, might be taken up by the Upper House. The Congress, which required three major changes in the Bill, counting decreasing 1% tax on inter-state trade, handing over of the disputes arising from GST to an independent panel and capping the rate in the Constitution itself, has relented after several rounds of talks with the administration. The declaration was made by the minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, while making an account regarding administration business for the week commencing August 1 in the Upper House. Naqvi has conveyed that the constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 will be taken up for deliberation and passage. The administration is keen on getting the Bill passed throughout the present session of Parliament which ends on August 12. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in May 2015. While the rate cap, as a via media, may be put in the GST Acts to be put in place by the Centre and states, the administration has agreed to decrease the 1% tax. Also, states have been guaranteed of full five-year recompense for any income loss.
The administration may have another round of conversation with the Congress previous to the Bill is laid in the Upper House. On the dispute resolution mechanism, a final call is taken by the GST council, which will have a delicate balance of power with participation of the Centre and states. In May 2015, GST bill was approved by the Lok Sabha and vetted by the Rajya Sabha select committee. On August 12 the present monsoon session of Parliament will finish. Once the Rajya Sabha clears the legislation, the alter legislation would be come back to the Lok Sabha for its endorsement. On Thursday, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury conveyed that the government should hold an all-party gathering to expand a consensus on the GST issue, conveying it has been a parliamentary practice as such gathering were called previous on crucial legislations like those on women’s quota, food safety, right to information and tribals’ right to forest land. In the RS, whose present strength is 244, NDA has only 72 members. For the Constitutional amendment Bill – aimed at allowing states to tax services and Centre to tax business beyond the factory gate and creating the influential GST Council – to sail through the RS, two-thirds of the associate should vote in its favor. Majority of state meeting need to vet the Bill consequently. Several main non-NDA parties like SP, NCP, TMC, JD (U) etc. are tending to support the Bill down with many sovereign. The Congress has 60 members in the RS and its hold up would indeed make things easier for the administration.