The government on Wednesday asserted that it has “enough” support for passage of the GST Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament that will commence from July 18 to August 12.
After a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs that recommended the schedule for the session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters that the session could also be extended or curtailed by two, three days depending on requirement.
Emphasising that the GST Bill is in the larger interest of the country, Mr. 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.”
He said that the government wants to get the Bill passed by consensus and is making efforts in that direction but asserted that “we must get it approved in this session.”
He said the 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.
'Ready to hold further discussions'
Replying to questions on whether government will step up its efforts to bring the Congress on board, which has been opposing the Bill on some conditions, he said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is ready to hold further discussions with all parties, including the Congress.
In the meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told Mr. Naidu that she was ready for a discussion on the recent foreign visits of the Prime Minister, in view of issues such as India’s membership of the NSG, if the members wanted it.
Rajnath Singh, who chaired the meet, pushed for early passage of the Lokpal and Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill while Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said there was a need for an early passage of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill. Both Bills are pending in Parliament.