NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha would take up the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill for passage on Monday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to speak during the debate. The BJP has issued a whip to its members to attend Monday’s session.
The Bill, which was passed by a consensus vote in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, would be again taken up by the Lok Sabha for passage on Monday to incorporate the amendments made to it in the Upper House. Six changes, including scrapping of the one per cent additional tax, were approved by the Rajya Sabha.
Confirming that the Lok Sabha would take up the GST Bill on Monday, a senior Union Minister said the PM would intervene during the debate on the Bill.
The PM had earlier come under attack from the Congress for not speaking during the debate in the Rajya Sabha. Taking a dig at Modi, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had called it a case of “PM-mukt Parliament” and claimed this was the first time a PM was not present during the passage of a Constitution Amendment Bill.
As the bill was likely to be passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday, the Centre is pushing for passage of the Bill during this month by state assemblies, especially those ruled by the BJP. On Friday, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu spoke to the CMs of the eight BJP-ruled states, while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu.
Most of the states would have to call a special session to ratify the Bill, as their Assembly sessions are already over. Ordinarily, it takes 14 to 21 days to call an Assembly session. The Bill has to be ratified by at least 16 states in 30 days after it is passed by both the houses of Parliament.
Amit Shah to meet BJP CMs
Meanwhile, BJP President Amit Shah has called a meeting of Chief Ministers of party-ruled states on August 27 and organisational core groups of all states on August 23 in which issues like better coordination between government and party, promotion of the government’s “pro-poor” initiatives, and increasing usage of the digital media are likely to figure. (With PTI Inputs)