Govt mulls special session to push GST-related bills

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With Parliament’s winter session heading for a total washout, the government plans a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs Friday to discuss options including a special short session to take up the Central GST and Integrated GST Bills. The government has, however, decided against an extension of the current session, sources told The Indian Express.

The CCPA, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, is expected to meet immediately after the two Houses are adjourned. On the agenda will be the option of calling the budget session early because of the move to advance the budget presentation to February 1 and to complete allocation by March 31.

The government had been confident of passing the two GST-related bills in the winter session after reaching a consensus on the GST structure, but the bills could not be taken up amid the disruption. “We had listed 20 bills. We were confident we would be able pass 12 of them. As the scene is today, we will not be able to get through more than three bills,” said a source in the government.

Earlier there was a view in the government that the winter session could be extended for a few days to take up the GST-related bills. The government ruled it out now. “There is no such plan,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said in reply to a question. He was noncommittal when asked if he is also ruling out the possibility of a special session. “I am not ruling it out. I am not confirming it either,” said Kumar, one of the 11 members of the CCPA.

The CCPA is likely to try and assess how and why the session went waste and what steps could be taken to ensure that the next session is fruitful, a source said.

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