Widespread demand for early introduction of GST Bill, says government

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New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) There was “widespread demand” for early introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in Rajya Sabha, the government said, but the much-awaited Bill has not been listed in the agenda of second week of the monsoon session begining from Monday.

However, the government expressed hope that the Bill will be passed in this session and has allocated five hours for discussion over it.

“There is a widespread demand for early introduction of GST from almost all the political parties, state governments, trade and industrial bodies and even general public,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said in a statement.

He said that the government is engaged in talks with political parties to ensure passage of the GST Bill during the current Monsoon Session.

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“The Business Advisory Committee has already allocated five hours for discussing this Bills in Rajya Sabha which is an important development. The government on its part would do the best possible to make this long pending legislation see the light of the day during this session,” he said.

Ananth Kumar also appealed to all parties to “sense the mood of the nation” and “cooperate in this regard”.

Keen on passing the GST bill, the government has been holding a series of meetings with opposition leaders.

The bill envisions a pan-India GST to thoroughly overhaul India’s indirect tax regime. It was first mooted by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime and has been already passed by the Lok Sabha but is pending in Rajya Sabha where the NDA government doesn’t have a majority.

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The government, on Saturday came up with the agenda of second week of the sesssion but there was no mention of GST Bill.

The Bills, which are on next weeks agenda for consideration and passing in Rajya Sabha include, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill.

Other than these, the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015, the Indian Medical Council Bill, 2016, the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research Bill, 2016 are also on the agenda.

All these Bills have got the nod of Lok Sabha.



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