Rajya Sabha: GST Bill stalled amid protests

RSTV Bureau

Arun-Jaitley-in-Rajya-Sabha-GST--Aug-11The Upper House was stalled over the much talked about Constitution (122nd) Amendment Bill, which is related to the roll out of Goods and Services Tax regime.

Govt’s attempt to get the Constitution (122nd) Amendment Bill 2014, which is the first step in the roll out of GST regime, was unsuccessful in the Upper House as the Congress party created ruckus raising an objection to the bill’s introduction. The Congress objected to the inclusion of the bill in the revised list of business for the House on Tuesday. The Congress claimed that time wasn’t allocated by the Business Advisory Committee and hence the bill should not be taken up.

Congress leader Anand Sharma objected to the bill being listed in the business without the consent of members.

“Today’s revised list of business has listed Constitution (122nd) Amendment Bill, for which no time has been allocated. I have confirmed it has not come in the bulletin; it has not come before the House, nor time was allocated in the Business Advisory Committee…I take very strong objection. This is violation of the rule,” said Sharma in the House.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who stood up to move the bill for consideration amidst din, slammed the Congress saying the party was raising various issues only to stall the country’s economic growth.

“The real purpose is that they want to stall the growth of the country and that is why session after session, they are using one pretext or the other to stall it. That is why they are using the pretext of External Affairs Minister. The Congress party does not want the economy to grow. They must candidly say so…They don’t need any pretext,” said Jaitely when the Congress members rushed to the Well of the House shouting slogans.

Deputy Chairman was forced to adjourn the House amidst the din. Before adjourning the House for the day, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said, “This being a Constitution amendment bill, I cannot take up the bill in pandemonium”.

A Constitution amendment requires Division of votes for which every member has to be in his or her seat.