Published On: Tue, Aug 11th, 2015

GST bill to face Rajya Sabha test today; Mamata, Mulayam stand up to support

New Delhi: The government will on Tuesday bring the much-awaited Bill on GST for passage in the Rajya Sabha even as doubts persist if the opposition Congress will allow passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

The Revised List of Business of the Rajya Sabha said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will move the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-second Amendment) Bill, 2014, incorporating recommendations made by a House Select Committee.

Jaitley will also move that the Bill be passed, it said.

With the NDA having just 63 seats in the 245-member Rajya Sabha, the ruling alliance needs the support of at least 100 more members to reach the two-thirds mark and win passage for the GST bill in the upper House.

Most of the regional parties like Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (12 MPs in Rajya Sabha), and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party(15 MPs in Rajya Sabha), JD(U) (12 MPs in Rajya Sabha), NCP (06 MPs in Rajya Sabha) and the Biju Janata Dal (6 MPs in Rajya Sabha), are in favour of the bill as GST is a destination tax expected to bring financial windfall to poor states who consume more and manufacture less.The Congress, the Left and the AIADMK have been against it.

In his recent meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, PM Modi had sought her support and assured amendments to make the bill acceptable to her party, which has 11-odd lawmakers in the Upper House.

Accordingly, analysts say that if the government is unable to push through the bill in the current session of Parliament, it will find it extremely difficult to meet the deadline of rolling out the tax by 1 April 2016.

If the passage of the constitutional amendment bill gets pushed to the winter session, GST’s rollout date could be delayed by at least a year.

TST

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