Congress party is all set to oppose the Modi government’s long-pending GST bill. The principal opposition party is preparing to submit its dissent note to the Parliamentary panel looking into the legislation. The panel is slated to adopt its report on Monday for presentation before the Rajya Sabha next week.
With the scheduled date for submitting the report coming close, the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha on Friday had discussed the bill clause-by-clause. The Committee, headed by BJP leader Bhupender Yadav, is likely to finalise its report in the next meeting on Monday. It has to present the report by July 24, within days of commencement of the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
On the other hand, the Congress party, which enjoys the maximum numbers in the Upper House, is preparing a dissent note saying it cannot support a bill which is not “simple and comprehensive”, well placed sources told the news agency PTI.
While the party claims that it is in favour of the proposed indirect tax regime, it wants there should be a ceiling of 18 per cent on the GST tax rate. It is also against the power to states to levy 1 per cent additional tax as it would have a cascading effect and cause market disruptions.
The Congress party also wants the Centre’s representation in the GST Council, which will oversee the implementation of the new tax regime, reduced and the state government’s voice be increased to three-fourth. The main opposition party also wants that tobacco, alcohol and electricity supply should be brought in the ambit of GST.
According to the sources, Left parties too are likely to come out with a dissent note.
The GST bill has been passed by Lok Sabha and was referred to the Select Committee by Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA government does not enjoy majority. The government aims to roll out GST from April 1, 2016.
Since GST is a constitution amendment bill, it requires to be passed with two-third majority in Rajya Sabha. It will also have to be ratified by 50 per cent of states.
(With inputs from the PTI)