GST Fate in Limbo as Cong Stays Op­posed

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: The Naren­dra Modi govern­ment may sound pos­i­tive about pas­sage of the bill to in­tro­duce the goods and ser­vices tax in the sec­ond part of the bud­get ses­sion of Par­lia­ment.

How­ever, the arith­metic in the Up­per House shows that the BJPled Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance won’t be able to get the 122nd Con­sti­tu­tion Amend­ment Bill passed­with­out­sup­port­fromtheop­po­si­tion Congress party even af­ter Au­gust, by when 30% of the seats will be filled with new mem­bers. The Congress has once again made it clear that it will not sup­port the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion in its present form, stick­ing firmly to its de­mand for three changes. Congress spokesper­son Ran­deep Sur­je­w­ala re­it­er­ated the party’s stand on Wed­nes­day and clar­i­fied that the govern­ment had not reached out to them since Par­lia­ment went into a re­cess on March 16. Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs Min­is­ter M Ve n k a i a h Naidu main­tains the GST bill will be passed in the sec­ond half of bud­get ses­sion even as other min­is­ters are not so con­fi­dent.

ACon­sti­tu­tion­ala­mend­ment­bill has to be passed with a two-thirds ma­jor­ity of those present and vot­ing in both Houses of Par­lia­ment separately and must win ap­proval from half the state assem­blies.

Although the NDA’s pres­ence in the Up­per House will im­prove with the en­try of 75 mem­bers in Au­gust – in­clud­ing seven nom­i­nated mem­bers – the arith­metic for the govern­ment will still not change sig­nif­i­cantly. The BJP’s strength in the 245-mem­ber Ra­jya Sabha cur­rently is 47. The party and its al­lies to­geth­er­con­trol64seats.Ir­re­spec­tive of the num­ber of seats it wins, BJP will still fall short of the two-thirds fig­ure of 163.

Venka­iah con­fi­dent GST bill will be passed in the sec­ond half of bud­get ses­sion

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