Govt to push 3 GST-related bills in Winter Session

Govt to push 3 GST-related bills in Winter Session

The government is all set to push through three enabling legislations on GST in the winter session of Parliament to meet the 2017 April deadline for rolling out a uniform tax structure in the country.

The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill and Goods and Services Tax (Compensation for Loss of Revenue) Bill have been categorised “high priority” in the legislative business agenda. 

After fixing tax slabs, the GST Council is expected to meet again on November 24 or 25 to chart out guidelines for taxation officers.

The three legislations would be introduced in a phased manner during the month-long session, starting Wednesday, parliamentary affairs ministry sources said.

Other than GST, there are nine pending legislations that the ministry wants cleared by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Among them are the Consumer Protection Bill, Mental Health Care Bill pending before the Lok Sabha and Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014.

The government proposes to introduce 16 new bills, even as the parliamentary affairs ministry has prepared a list of 54 items drawn from different ministries to sum up the legislative and non-legislative business agenda.

The ministries of home and health and family affairs are yet to declare their priorities for the session, government officials said.

Other legislations
Other important legislations lined up are the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, Divorce (Amendment) Bill and Minimum Wages (Amendment) Bill.

The HRD ministry has decided to amend the ‘no-detention policy’ under the RTE Act and give liberty to states and Union Territories to take their own decisions for holding examinations in their respective schools for students of Classes V and VIII.

The law and justice ministry-piloted Divorce (Amendment) Bill, 2016, seeks to make separation among couples easier.

A couple can file for divorce under the existing law only if they jointly file an application by mutual consent.

Or, if the divorce is contested, one partner has to provide evidence to prove grounds listed in the laws to get out of the marriage.

The health ministry, according to sources, is keen to introduce the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2016. A debate is on in the country over teen rape and the restricted right to pregnancy, with a section arguing for empowering women to have an abortion beyond the legally permissible period of 20 weeks.

The labour and employment ministry’s wish list includes introduction of five new legislations on small factories, labour code on wages, labour code on industrial relations, labour code on social security and welfare and labour code on safety and working conditions.

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