The Union government claimed that it had enough support for the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, scheduled to be held from July 18 to August 12.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA), said the passage of the Bill was in the larger interest of the country.
Mr. Naidu said there was “wider support now and we have enough numbers to see the Bill through, but we would like to have all parties on board as the tax will have an effect on States.”
Mr. Naidu said a division (physical counting of votes) would be the least preferred option and that the government preferred unanimous support.
Replying to questions on whether the government will step up efforts to bring on board the Congress, which has been opposing the Bill on some grounds, he said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is ready to hold further discussions with all parties including the Congress.
Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza, when asked to respond to the BJP’s claim of having enough numbers, said, “Let them prove it.” A senior party leader confirmed that the Congress position remained unchanged.