GST Pulse: Would the GST Bill get passed in the winter session?

Would the GST Bill get passed in the winter session?

It was feared that there would be strong resistance to the GST Bill now with a more united opposition. However, some factors may go in favour of the Bill getting passed in the Parliament.

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After the results of the Assembly polls in Bihar, there were concerns expressed in the media on the fate of GST Bill in the winter session of the Parliament starting from 26 November 2015 .  It was feared that there would be strong resistance to the GST Bill now with a more united opposition. However, some factors may go in favour of the Bill getting passed in the Parliament.

1. In the last week or so the Government has made serious efforts to reach out to the major opposition parties. Even the Finance Minister has stated that he is open for discussions. “I am ready to meet anybody in the Congress party as we have done in the past in order to persuade them.” . Senior Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Manohar Parrikar, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj are reaching out to leaders of regional parties  (Report on www.ndtv.com) 

2. The Prime Minister in his speech in Singapore repeated his resolve to implement GST by April 2016  

3. Further, leaders in the main opposition party have hinted at some reconciliation. “There is room for compromise on the GST. It is not like the land acquisition bill on which we were not willing to compromise. We have two or three concerns that need to be addressed.”   The same news report hints that the non-negotiable issues could be narrowed down to three-four as mentioned in the Notes of Dissent to the Rajya Sabha Select Committee report, including 18 per cent ceiling on GST, abolition of the 1 per cent additional tax and setting up of a dispute settlement mechanism.

4. The main opposition party was never opposed to GST ( in fact it had introduced the idea of GST in 2007) and a reconciliatory tone by the Government and acceptance of part or all of the amendments to the Select Committee report are likely to the pave way for passing of GST bill

5. By putting four GST processes on its website  (on registration, refund, payment and return) and starting discussions on them, the government has fuelled discussions on GST that could build stronger public opinion. 

There can, of course, be surprises in politics as in any other field. However if the above is true, there is a more likelihood of the GST Bill getting passed in the coming winter session of the Parliament. It is a different matter that irrespective of the outcome, the industry may have to ready itself in many ways to face GST.

 

 

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