NEW DELHI: Apprehending a complete washout of the current winter session, the government is looking to the Budget session next year to get the much-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha.
Highly-placed sources said that a number of Congress MPs are retiring from the Upper House next year, and as the opposition party’s numbers have reduced in several states, the government is expecting better numbers for it from April, which is usually when the second half of the Budget session convenes after a short break.
In March, five nominated members of the Upper House are retiring and the BJP being the party in power be able to nominate new members.
According to sources, at present, except for the Congress and AIADMK, all parties support the GST Bill.
They said that even if there was a delay of three months in implementation of the GST, there should be no problem. The government had earlier wanted to implement the new GST from April 2016. The sources said that senior government functionaries feel that instead of passing the Bill now with compromises, it would be better if it was passed in April.
There has been a deadlock in the Rajya Sabha with opposition parties, led by the Congress, protesting over various issues. The GST is a constitutional amendment bill and needs two-third majority to be passed in the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority. The Bill was sent to a select committee of the Upper House and a report is with the House now.
Seen as key to facilitating industrial growth and improving the business climate in the country, the passage of the bill to become a law is a lengthy process, as first the constitution amendment bill will need to be passed with two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament and then be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before getting the assent of the president.
Following this, Parliament and state legislatures will need to pass GST bills that impose central and state GSTs.