Special WB Assembly session drops plan to examine GST Bill


Decision was taken in the BAC meeting of the state Assembly on Friday in the presence of opposition parties

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The plan to discuss the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill in a special West Bengal Assembly session on August 29 has been dropped. According to the state's Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee, it will not be possible right now.

The decision was taken in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting of the state Assembly on Friday in the presence of opposition political parties.

"We are not taking up the resolution on the GST Bill for discussion during the special session because of time constraints," government Chief Whip Nirmal Ghosh said after the meeting.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, smelled a "political conspiracy" behind the decision.

BJP state chief and a member in the House, Dilip Ghosh, told reporters, "I don't understand why the government changed its decision. It must be a political conspiracy."

Ghosh said he would take up the issue with the BJP central leadership soon.

"An all-party meeting in the Assembly on August 18 had finalised August 29 as the date to discuss the GST Bill, but surprisingly this is dropped in today's BAC meeting," he said.

Other opposition parties, however, did not make any comment on the development.

The GST Constitution Amendment Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha earlier this month and now it will have to be ratified by at least 15 of the 29 state Assemblies to become a law, which the Prime Minister hoped would be done at the earliest.

Gujarat, Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand have already ratified the GST Bill. The Prime Minister wants the GST to kick in from April, 2017.

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