The West Bengal Assembly is likely to take up the GST Bill for discussion in the first week of November, according to government sources.
Previously, a two-day special session of the Assembly had been planned for August 26 to discuss the GST bill, along with the proposal to rename West Bengal as Bengal. But while the renaming was discussed and passed, the GST bill was not introduced in the Assembly.
A government source maintained, “The TMC government has maintained that they will ratify the GST bill. In fact, Amit Mitra is still very much involved in the process, and West Bengal is likely to ratify the bill in November.”
State Finance Minister Amit Mitra, the chairman of the empowered committee of state finance ministers on GST, departed for the first meeting of the GST council when his own state has not ratified the Constitutional Amendment Bill for launching the new tax regime. Mitra had maintained that ratifying the GST Bill in the Assembly was a mere routine task, as his Trinamool Congress has been supporting the idea since 2009.
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A senior TMC leader said, “It is a stern message from the state government to the Centre. Mamata will not tolerate any measure that harms the state, and will play hardball if required. November is key, because the bill will once again come to Rajya Sabha in December.”