GST Bill to be listed by government in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday


NEW DELHI: The Goods and Service Tax Bill will be sent to Rajya Sabha on Wednesday for the consideration and passage. Last year, the bill was put on hold for the numerical support.

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The bill indicates that the most far-reaching taxation reform in independent India would be supported by Congress and all other major political parties.

"The GST Bill is listed for consideration and passage on Wednesday in Rajya Sabha and we seek support of all political parties. The mood is in favour of its passage," Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said.

According to top government sources, a fresh round of talks was held on Monday with the main opposition Congress and other parties, including the Left and Samajwadi Party, for building a consensus on the key tax reform legislation.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley held further consultations with senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma and chalked out details of the contentious bill aimed at bringing about a consensus on the key bill, sources said.

Arun Jaitley had a meeting with CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury as well as other leaders. Later, along with Kumar, he met Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

The discussion will be held today to elucidate on the language of key parts of the bill.

Sources added that government was to initially bring the bill on Tuesday, but Congress was not keen on the proposal due to the roadshow of Sonia Gandhi in Varanasi on Tuesday which may be attended by some party MPs.

The government, sources said, ”The bill will bring about four key amendments in the Constitution which will include the scrapping of 1 per cent additional tax provision and grant of more powers to states for providing them full compensation for a period of five years.”

Congress leader PL Punia said, “GST is very important for the economy, industry and the business as also for the consumer.”

"With that objection in mind, it was the Congress party which brought the idea of GST. We have raised certain issues and negotiations are still on. We are prepared to accept every reasonable solution which does not adversely affect the business, industry and consumer, ” he added.

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"There has to be one more round of talks. Party feels the bill should be passed and our best wishes that this bill be passed," he said.

Last year, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but the government could not gather required numbers for its passage in Rajya Sabha that time due to strong opposition by Congress and some other political parties.