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No lifeline for GST deadline.

Govt gives up plans to reconvene a Session of Parliament to get Bill approved

IMPLEMENTATION of the goods and services tax ( GST) is likely to miss the April 1, 2016, deadline as the government has given up plans to reconvene a special Session of Parliament to get the Constitutional Amendment Bill approved.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to recommend to the President The '

to prorogue the Monsoon Session of Parliament, which was adjourned last month.

The government had kept the Monsoon Session alive in hopes of building a consensus on GST, which has been billed as one of the biggest economic reforms. But the opposition Congress refused to cooperate unless its demands for action against external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh for alleged

irregularities were met.

The government was keen on a special Session to obtain Parliament's nod for the Constitution Amendment Bill on GST but opted against it for the time being as talks with Congress did not yield results, Jaitley said. He added that efforts to reach an agreement on the Bill would continue.

"We will keep trying.

We are in contact with all political parties. And nearly all parties except Congress are in favour of this Bill. Keeping the political reality in mind, it was decided that we will recommend to the President to prorogue the Monsoon Session," he told reporters.

The decision came after Congress on Tuesday made it clear that it would not budge on its three key demands for amending National Democratic Alliance's legislation.

Earlier at an event organised by The Economist magazine, Jaitley had warned of GST getting delayed by sometime because of Congress' objections.

He said that if the number of parties which support the GST Bill in Lok Sabha are tallied, the government has twothird majority support in Rajya Sabha as well.

The government had kept the Monsoon Session alive in hopes of a consensus on GST, billed as one of the biggest economic reform

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Sep 10, 2015
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