Keeping in mind ‘no majority’ in Rajya Sabha, the ruling government-led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hinted at introducing Goods and Services Tax Bill in the Parliament as Money Bill instead of Finance Bill. Clearing the stand of the government over the nature of GST Bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently said that there were no precedents of any legislation related to tax being ever introduced in the Parliament as Finance Bill, so the same will be done with GST Bill too.
The stand of the government may prove to be a huge setback for opposition parties, including Congress, which had supported the Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST in Rajya Sabha on the condition that GST Bill would be introduced in the Parliament as Finance Bill.
Now, when the GST Bill would be introduced as Money Bill, the opposition parties would not have any say in ‘forcing’ government to make changes in it.
As per legal procedures, Money Bill will be introduced only in Lok Sabha, where the ruling government is in majority, and Rajya Sabha cannot make any amendments to them. However, the Upper House can suggest amendments, but it is up to the Lok Sabha to accept them or reject them.
The GST Bill is set to be introduced in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament, which is scheduled to begin from November 16.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST was easily passed during Monsoon Session, with the Congress party coming on board, after the government made about six changes including scrapping of 1 per cent manufacturing tax and incorporating clearer provisions for the compensation of states.
Earlier, the Modi government has introduced popular Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill. The reason behind introducing Aadhaar as a Money Bill was that the NDA has a majority in Lok Sabha and not in Rajya Sabha.
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