Centre banks on CMs to support GST
The government is set to aggressively push the Constitution amendment bill for implementing goods and services tax (GST) in the monsoon session of Parliament as it looks to roll out the long-awaited tax reform from April.
“We will look to introduce the bill on the first day itself and ask for a vote,“ said a senior government functionary, reflecting the assessment in ruling circles that Congress, sobered by fresh electoral setbacks, may not wish to play deal-breaker and risk isolation on the legislation which has the support of other non-BJP players. “All parties other than Congress are supporting GST and even Congress chief ministers are in favour of it,“ said a top government source. A top government source said the Centre was confident of successfully pushing the GST legislation through Rajya Sabha irrespective of what Congress might wish to do.
“Ideally, we would like to pass it with the support of Congress. It is a Constitution amendment bill and so it is desirable that all are on board.However, we don’t mind doing it without them if it comes to that,“ the source said.
The government is feeling encouraged by BJP’s victory in Assam to give the bill a determined shot in monsoon session.
The matter has acquired urgency for the government as April 2017 is seen as the last window for rolling out GST as the government may like to be done with the long-pending reform measure well ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s support for GST has buoyed BJP, sparking optimism that CMs of other states, such as Bihar, Odisha, Kerala and UP, too will back the GST bill since they stand to gain through higher tax collection.
anandabazar patrika epaper 26/05/2016 : http://www.anandabazar.com