Govt confident of GST passage in Monsoon session

Govt confident of GST passage in Monsoon session

Govt confident of GST passage in Monsoon session
Confident of garnering support of some opposition parties for the GST Bill, the government today asserted it has "enough" numbers for passage of the crucial legislation in the Monsoon Session of Parliament which will commence on July 18.

After a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA), chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, "We have a wider support and we have enough numbers for GST but we would like to have all parties on board because it will have an effect on states."

The session will conclude on August 12 and there will be a total of 20 working days during it. Naidu said the session could also be extended or curtailed by two-three days depending on requirement.

He said that the government wants to get the bill passed by consensus and is making efforts in that direction but asserted that even if consensus is not there, "we must get it approved in this session".

Since GST is a Constitution Amendment Bill, support of two-third of Rajya Sabha members is required for its passage. It means the government will require 164 votes.

Speaking separately, BJP sources said that after the recent Rajya Sabha polls, the scenario has tilted in favour of the ruling alliance.

A source said BJP's strength has now risen to 54 from 46 and the total strength of pro-GST members from the ruling alliance, supporting independents and nominated members, will be about 81.

Besides, the ruling alliance is also confident of support of around 76 members from parties including SP, Trinamool Congress, JD(U), BJD, BSP, NCP, DMK, RJD, TRS, INLD, IUML, JMM, Kerala Congress, JD(S) and YSR Congress.

The party believes 22 other members from parties including AIADMK, CPI-M and CPI would support the measure after pressing some amendments or abstain.

If BJP's calculations work, votes in favour of the bill could go up to 179, more than the required 164.

"In these circumstances, the GST Bill may be passed without the support of 60 members of Congress, if it does not create din in the Rajya Sabha," a party functionary said.

BJP sources said even if the 13-member AIADMK abstains, the number of the 245-member House will be reduced to 232 and the government will require the support of only 155 members to pass the bill.

Naidu said voting on the bill will be the last option, suggesting that the government would like to avoid any trial of strength on this issue and will strive to take all parties along.

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