GST : Congress readies GST tactics

      After forcing the extension of term of the joint-House panel on land bill, the Congress is now positioning for a deft maneuvering in the Rajya Sabha select committee on GST Bill, even as the Lalit Modi issue is threatening to wash out the entire session starting on July 21.
      The Congress brass knows unlike House panel on land bill where there is a larger opposition to the bill, in select committee on GST Bill, many of non-NDA parties too are supporting the bill. So, the Congress members are working on multiple strategies; not to oppose the bill but only demand some key changes, tactically play along the unrelenting AIADMK’s opposition to the bill, seek extension of the panel’s sitting and keep the back-up option of presenting dissenting notes open if their demands are over ruled. Likely-hood of dissenting notes from Congress, AIADMK, Left.. etc could com plicate the government’s efforts to get the constitution amend ment bill pass through with the required two-third majority. The positioning within the select committee is expected to gain momentum from its next rounds of meeting, from Friday, when clause-byclause consideration of the final report will begin. “We know committee Chairman Bhupender Yadav (BJP) will try to ram through our objections to finalise the report. Government will also play on Trinamool, SP, BSP …etc. But, Yadav and his advisers in the cabinet remember the bill can’t be passed by the select panel but only by numbers on the floor of a smoothly-functioning Parliament, “quipped a Congress leader.
       Without opposing the GST, Congress is seeking to change some clauses of the bill; removal of the proposed 1% inter-state tax for two years, capping GST tax at 18%, inclusion of tobacco and liquor in GST and broader dispute re-dressal mechanism.  –

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