West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee has given a hope of revival for the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.
Mamata clarified that she is against the BJP government at the Centre and “will continue to oppose it politically.” But she will not come in the way of “pro-people policies”.
She has instructed Amit Mitra, State Finance Minister and Chairman of the Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers on GST, to ensure passage of the Bill in the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament.
Banerjee told Mitra: “GST is long pending. Within the next two meetings ensure its passage. Build a consensus and do it.”
Mitra, who was named the new chairman of the empowered committee of state finance ministers in February, has termed GST as good for the country and the state.
The Trinamool has favoured passage of the GST bill and also mentioned it in its manifesto during the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2011 assembly elections.
However, the party had sought a five-year guarantee from the Centre for compensating for revenue losses incurred by states following GST implementation.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley has earlier hinted at the rollout of the GST bill next year. He said a constitution amendment bill on the new indirect tax regime will be brought to the Rajya Sabha in the next session and all supporting legislations required will be in place by the year-end. He also suggested the GST rates to moderate further in the long term.
The GST will replace various indirect taxes with one simple tax , creating a boundary-less national market that some estimate will lift India’s GDP by as much as 2 per cent.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which has been approved by the Lok Sabha, is pending in the Rajya Sabha because of stiff resistance by the Congress, the largest party in the House, over a few proposals.