Govt may prepone Winter Session to pass GST: Naidu

RSTV Bureau

Parl-monsoon-sessionThe issue of rolling-out legislation on an all-important Goods and Services Tax (GST) seems to be the top priority of Modi government now. Union Parliamentary Affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu said the government can advance the Winter Session of the Parliament to get the GST bill through and roll it out from April 1, 2016. The BJP-led NDA government suffered a big set-back in the Monsoon session as they were unable to even table the bill in Rajya Sabha.

The legislation, though have been passed in the Lower house, needs to be cleared by the Upper house. Being the constitutional amendment bill, the legislation merits to be passed with 2/3rd majority on the floor the house. The problem for the BJP remains with its numbers in Rajya Sabha as they fall well short of even a half-way mark in the upper house.

Expressing hopes about the passage of the GST Bill, Venkiah Naidu on Thursday opined that there is still a scope for meeting the deadline as the government could call an early Winter session. The Winter session of the Parliament usually begins in the third week of November.

“I am terribly disappointed that we could not have the extended (Monsoon) session to take up an important legislation like GST Bill, which is the need of the hour. But I have not given up my hope,” Mr. Naidu said in New Delhi.

Cong-protest-Parl“Still there is scope. Once the Bihar elections are over, we can make one more effort. We have the Winter Session. It can be preponed. We can still meet the deadline,” the Union minister added.

Claiming that the public opinion is very strongly in favour of the GST Bill, Venkaiah Naidu said he is still “hopeful” that Congress may revisit its stand on the issue. Earlier yesterday, the PM Modi-led government had decided to prorogue the Monsoon Session, thus abandoning any hopes of calling a Special session, after they were unable to reach consensus with the Opposition and especially with the Congress party.

Indicating further about possibility of a change in the stand of the principal Opposition party, the Union minister said that Congress party had participated in the debate over Lalit Modi controversy in Lok Sabha after earlier taking the stand of ‘no resignation, no discussion’.

(With inputs from the PTI)