GST Bill seven-hour debate in Lok Sabha today: Here's what the Congress is going to do

The marathon debate on the supplementary legislations of the GST Bill on Wednesday is going to be a stormy one given the controversies surrounding the manner in which the laws were introduced on Monday.

The Opposition parties have already raised this issue alleging that they were not given enough time to study the proposed legislation. The government had on Monday tabled four bills - the Compensation Law, the Central-GST or C-GST, Integrated-GST or I-GST and Union Territory-GST or UT-GST.

File image of Rahul Gandhi. Reuters

Rahul Gandhi. Reuters

Apart from raising this issue, the Congress party will move amendments to the GST bills on Wednesday, as it has concerns about some clauses in the bills and the manner of tabling those in Parliament, said a party leader on Tuesday.

A Congress leader told IANS that the party has held a strategy meeting of its MPs in the Lok Sabha ahead of the debate. The meeting was chaired by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who is said to have encouraged the MPs to play the role of a "constructive opposition".

Party sources said that Gandhi also told the members that the party should not be seen as a party against the GST.

Some senior Congress MPs also felt that the party should not be seen as one that is opposed to the proposed tax regime.

The meeting also discussed issues like farmers' loan waiver, farmers' distress, freedom of expression in universities and the issue of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of banks.

"It was a routine meeting of MPs. Tomorrow (Wednesday), the GST bill is coming up for discussion, but the party has reservations to the manner it was brought in the Parliament and also to a few clauses in the bill.

"In general, we are supporting the bill. We will put our views across tomorrow and move necessary amendments," one of the Congress MPs told IANS.

This was Gandhi's first meeting with the party MPs after the Uttar Pradesh elections. After the results, he had gone abroad to bring back his mother Sonia Gandhi, who had gone there for medical treatment.

The CGST Bill will enable levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods and services or both by the central government. The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, provides for the levy and collection of tax on inter-state supply.

The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) provides for compensation to the states for the loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the GST.

The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, will enable levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods and services or both by the union territories.

With inputs from IANS

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Updated Date: Mar 29, 2017 10:47:04 IST

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