Clock ticking as Rajya Sabha has 2 days to pass the GST Bill this session

The opposition protests forced the adjournement of the house till Wednesday. The government has only two more days now to pass the Bill in the current monsoon session of Parliament as it ends on August 13.

Photo: Reuters Photo: Reuters

Even as the NDA-led government managed to move the goods and services tax bill (GST) at the last-minute in Rajya Sabha for a major tax reform, the opposition, in particular the Congress refused to call off protests in Parliament to allow a discussion.

Shortly after the first round of votes was conducted on the much-hyped Bill, the opposition members stormed into the Well of the House, forcing its adjournment. Following the disruption the house was adjourned till Wednesday.

The government has only two more days now to pass the GST Bill in the current session as the monsoon session of Parliament ends on August 13. If the bill is nor ratified by the Rajya Sabha in the next two days it will be shelved like the Land Bill till the Winter Session.

GST that seeks to replace all indirect taxes, with a uniform levy has already been approved by the Lok Sabha and was in the last session referred to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee.

The panel has given its report endorsing majority of the provisions, while suggesting changes in compensation to states and definition of supply for the purpose of states levying additional one per cent tax. The report of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee was tabled in Parliament last month. However, the Congress, the AIADMK and the Left parties had submitted dissent notes on the same.

The Congress, has said it will not allow Parliament to function unless the PM removes senior BJP leaders it accuses of graft charges, including Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. The Congress also wants changes to the bill, which it says must be more "simple and comprehensive"