Trinamool Congress on Sunday came out in strong support of the government ambitious GST bill, which is being scrutinized by a parliamentary committee, saying the measure was "good for the states, good for the Centre and good for the nation".
"GST (Goods and Services Tax) is a commitment we have made in our manifesto. We believe the bill should be passed in the monsoon session," Trinamool leader Derek O Brien said.
The support from West Bengal ruling party is significant as the Narendra Modi government is keen to see the bill being adopted by the Rajya Sabha select committee at the earliest so that it can be considered by the upper House of Parliament in the upcoming session beginning on July 21.
The committee is meeting on July 17, when it is expected to wind up discussions on the bill and consider adoption, possibly in another meeting, sources said.
According to sources, the bill is likely to sail through in the 21-member select committee as Congress and Samajwadi Party are the only two parties strongly opposed to it. Congress, which has moved 10 amendments to the legislation, is likely to give a dissent note in case the bill is adopted, sources said.
One of the provisions being opposed by Congress relates to the GST Council, which provides for one-third representation of the Centre. Congress wants it diluted to make it one-fourth of the council. Trinamool is on the government side on this, sources said.
The proposed GST Council will have the Union finance minister as its chairman and comprise two-thirds of members from states and one-third from the Centre. The council will oversee implementation of the GST regime that will subsume all indirect taxes. It will also decide on the GST rate.
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