GST Bill: Jaitley to meet state finance ministers on Tuesday

GST Bill: Jaitley to meet state finance ministers on Tuesday

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will on Tuesday meet his counterparts in states to discuss proposed amendments to the GST Bill that has been passed by the Lok Sabha but is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, an official source here said.

Jaitley met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the weekend, and has been earlier meeting Congress party leaders to garner support for the proposed pan-India Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The GST Bill is likely to be listed for discussion in the Rajya Sabha following Jaitley’s consultations with the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers.

Listing the government business for the week beginning July 25, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told the Rajya Sabha on Friday that the GST Bill will come up for discussion next week.

“(This is for) further consideration and passing of the Constitution 122nd Amendment Bill 2014, as passed by the Lok Sabha and as reported by the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha,” he said.

About the agenda for the second week of the ongoing monsoon session beginning on Monday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said in a statement: “The Business Advisory Committee has already allocated five hours for discussing this Bill in the Rajya Sabha which is an important development.”

GST was first mooted by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

It has been already passed by the Lok Sabha but is pending in the Rajya Sabha where the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government lacks a majority.

The Congress has been demanding that the overall GST rate be capped at 18 per cent, as well as scrapping of an additional one per cent tax to compensate manufacturing states.

Following a meeting of state finance ministers in Kolkata last month, Jaitley announced that every state had either supported or accepted the proposed GST, except Tamil Nadu which expressed its reservations and offered suggestions.

The model GST law approved at the state finance ministers’ meeting has, thereafter, been published, inviting comments from stakeholders.

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