GST Bill likely to be tabled in current winter session

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the government would try to introduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, so it could be discussed in the Budget session.

However, the Bill did not feature in the legislative agenda for the current session that Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy spelt out in the Lok Sabha.

Apart from GST, the government hopes to introduce the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill in the current session for it to be taken up at the earliest in the next session. The two Bills are yet to be cleared by the Cabinet. The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill now looks set to be discussed in the next session. The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Bill but the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha is set to demand that it be referred to a select committee of that House for scrutiny.

Rudy said the Lok Sabha would take up for consideration and passing the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2014, the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Amendment Bill, 2014, the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2014, the Regional Rural Bank (Amendment) Bill, 2014, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Bill, 2014, and the Warehousing Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

He said the Lok Sabha would take up for discussion the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008, after it was passed by the Rajya Sabah as also the Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill, 2014. The current Parliament session ends on December 23.

Jaitley on Friday moved the Companies (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabah. He later said at an event hosted by a private news channel that the government was committed to push the economic growth rate to 6-6.5 per cent in the next financial year and to seven per cent thereafter. The minister said the government was "working overtime on reforms...insurance Bill will be taken up next week."

"I will try to introduce the Constitution Amendment Bill for GST in the current session of Parliament so it could be discussed and considered in the next session," he said, adding, the Bill to clear the mess in the coal sector during the United Progressive Alliance regime was being taken up by Parliament. The finance minister dismissed criticism that the government had not undertaken any big-ticket reforms, stating that "sensationalism is not part of economic planning".

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the abolition of the Planning Commission, the government had decontrolled diesel, issued an ordinance to reform the coal sector, and would take more steps to streamline public expenditure and rationalise subsidies after receiving the report of the Expenditure Commission.

On the Jan Dhan Yojana, he said 100 million accounts were expected to be opened by January 26. On State Bank of India agreeing to provide a $1 billion loan to an Adani Group project in Australia, he said it was only an agreement and no disbursement had taken place. "He (Gautam Adani) has applied to the bank (State Bank of India). If he has creditworthiness, he will get the loan, otherwise he will.

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Source/Author: Business Standard




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