Over 7 rounds BJP and Congress bill and coo; Progress GST a week away,
photo courtesy: indiatoday.intoday.in

 

BJP and Congress bill and coo over 7 rounds; progress GST a week away

It has been fourteen months since the Goods and Services Tax Bill was easily passed in the Lok Sabha due to the BJP’s numerical strength. The Congress had been playing hard to get to enable the Bill to pass muster in the Rajya Sabha as well. There were a few well meant suggestions from the Congress side too. But after seven rounds of discussions, akin to a Hindu marriage ceremony with the mandatory circumambulation around the sacred fire, the BJP’s courtship efforts seem to have borne fruit. The BJP agreed to bring changes in the Bill to strengthen dispute resolution mechanisms and the Congress dropped its demand for a cap of 18% on the GST to be levied.

With UP elections around the corner, the Congress may also have had an eye on the probability of its numbers in the Rajya Sabha getting reduced.  In any case, the Bill had been groomed by its own UPA regime. The Congress may have felt it best to back the Bill, in right earnest, than being left behind.