Lok Sabha takes up GST bill, Realty put off, both run into relentless opposition

Opposition slammed the government for "bypassing" Parliamentary Standing Committees by refusing to refer several bills to it.

By: Press Trust of India Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: May 6, 2015 12:39 am
Lok Sabha Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha Tuesday took up the constitution amendment bill for GST but the government was forced to backtrack in the Rajya Sabha on the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill. Both bills are set to face hurdles in the Rajya Sabha, with a consensus reportedly emerging among opposition parties that GST should be referred to a select committee and the government indicating to the opposition that it was willing to refer Real Estate to such a committee.

Congress floor managers said they have managed to bring most parties on board over GST even as the Lok Sabha discussed the constitution amendment bill. The House is set to vote Wednesday. A constitution amendment bill requires a two-thirds majority of those present and voting in both Houses.

Sources said the Congress has reached out to most parties and the consensus is that the bill needs fresh scrutiny by a parliamentary panel, something the Congress accuses the government of bypassing. “Fifty-one bills have been brought to Parliament and only seven of them have been sent to the standing committee. Why are they bypassing the standing committee?” LokSabha MP Gaurav Gogoi said at a Congress briefing.

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As far as the Real Estate Bill is concerned, Congress floor managers said the government has indicated it will be referred to a select committee. With Rahul Gandhi having met home buyers and slammed the bill as “pro-builder”, the Congress cannot afford to allow the bill to be passed.

GST bill Won’t bring Real Estate Bill until consultations complete: Naidu.

The bill was listed for consideration and passage Tuesday but a belligerent opposition forced Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu to backtrack. He announced he would not take up the bill for consideration until consultations with parties is over.

The Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Aggarwal said the bill was listed in the day’s business despite a clear assurance from Naidu that he would revert to the House after consultations with all political parties. “This seems to indicate that the government’s intentions are not clean,” Aggarwal said, emphasising that since the bill is the property of the Upper House, it can only go to the select committee and not even to a joint committee. Ghulam Nabi Azad referred to notices submitted by the JD (U)’s Sharad Yadav and himself to send the bill to a select committee.

Naidu said the bill had been listed as a “matter of abundant caution” as it is business left over from earlier sittings but he would not press for it to be taken up. “I did speak to some people over the phone during the weekend; many said they would want to talk in person. Some others I spoke to today. I could not complete the consultation process. Once I complete it, I will come back to the House.”

He added he would like the House to consider, before the end of this session, whether or not to send the bill to a select committee. When some members objected to this, he said he would bring the bill only after after consultations are complete.

With Abantika Ghosh

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  1. N
    Nambrath Krishna
    May 5, 2015 at 8:54 pm
    Just putting unnecessary hurdles on development path, bane of Indian political arena. Country languished since independence due to this the very legacy of disturbing development, high time Indian electorate taught a lesson or two to those promoting narrow selfish political players.
    1. N
      Narendra M
      May 5, 2015 at 9:05 pm
      (1) For smooth page of all new Acts or amendments, cooperation of the opposition is a must. Without that, all bills would be stuck in the Rajya Sabha. Readers may recall that when UPA was in power, then Union Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee had made sincere efforts to introduce Goods & Service Tax (GST) regime. However, then the BJP and a few regional political parties adopted a policy which was not very conducive for early introduction of GST. (2) Now that NDA government is in power, it wants to introduce GST and that is fine. But in the process double standards of both the Congress and BJP have been exposed in the matter of the page of GST legislation. (3) It is clear that earlier BJP adopted dilatory methods which have resulted in loss of at least two years with regard such an important fiscal reform as GST; now Congress is guilty of doing the same thing. But if BJP wants cooperation from all political parties, it must accept that tactics adopted by the party earlier when it was in the opposition were improper. If this happens there will be no uncertainty and GST bill and even land acquisition law amendment bill can be approved by both houses of Parliament.
      1. S
        May 5, 2015 at 5:51 pm
        Congress and its old allies want to keep India as poor as of 1947 so that the poor remain illiterate and thoughtlessly vote for them. It is difficult for the country to prosper under irresponsible leaders like Rahul Baba and his sycophants.
        1. Raman Vr
          May 5, 2015 at 10:18 pm
          Is the version of GST now under debate is the same as that introduced by Pranab Mukherji. I doubt it is not. Lot of inputs from Standing Committees and State governments have been incorporated in the current version. More over the states are also getting more financial share now . So let us forget the earlier versions of GST and the reactions over it.
          1. Raman Vr
            May 5, 2015 at 10:09 pm
            The format of the GST bill opposed by CM Modi has undergone changes with inputs from Standing committees and State Governments. The allocation of funds to States has also been enhanced. The topic under discussion and debate is the updated version of GST.
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