Parliament's BAC allocates five hours for discussion on GST

| Updated: Jul 18, 2016 20:25 IST

New Delhi, July 18 (ANI): The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Parliament on Monday allocated five hours for discussion on the long withstanding Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. The decision has been made as no consensus has emerged yet. The Monsoon Session will have 20 working days and will conclude on August 12. Meanwhile, former finance minister P. Chidambaram asserted that the Congress will reply on the subject once the NDA Government comes out with a draft on the GST Bill. "Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad held talks with the Finance Minister and he has promised to come back with some concrete proposals. Let's see the draft which they bring and then we will respond," Chidambaram told reporters outside Parliament. The government has reached out to the main opposition party for the passage of the GST Bill, while the Congress is also fine tuning its strategy on the legislation. Ahead of the session, top Congress leaders met party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Saturday and chalked out strategy on crucial issues, including the GST Bill. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad and other senior party leaders including Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia attended the meeting. This came a day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar had a meeting with Azad and Anand Sharma. The two ministers discussed all points to bring Congress on board on the GST Bill. The opposition party is also expected to corner the government in Parliament on the recent Arunachal Pradesh issue in wake of the Supreme Court judgment reinstating the Congress regime in the state. The Congress has been pressing for a GST cap of 18 percent as part of the Constitutional Amendment bill with which the government is not in agreement. The Constitution amendment bill for roll-out of GST is pending in Rajya Sabha for a long time and the government is keen to ensure its passage. The GST seeks to bring a uniform tax structure subsuming a number of imposts and the government claims that it will help add one to two percent to the country's GDP. (ANI)