Bills: GST decks cleared, Realty hangs in limbo
The Union Cabinet on Tuesday cleared the Bill to operationalise the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. The Bill now includes territories in Assam along with those in West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya. The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on Tuesday morning to clear the Bill that is likely to come up in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
An earlier Bill on Land Boundary Agreement is pending since December 2013. The government had earlier proposed to bring this bill in Lok Sabha, but faced stiff resentment from the Opposition who wanted that territories in Assam be included in it. The inclusion of Assam territories in the Bill indicates the government’s resolve to get the legislation cleared after bringing all parties on board.
Meanwhile, the Opposition on Tuesday said it would support the Narendra Modi government’s flagship Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which is likely to come up for voting in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. The Congress’ support effectively means the proposal, aimed at a unified tax regime in the country, is now likely to be passed with a two-third majority, which is required for a constitutional amendment. “This bill has gone through the Standing Committee for two and a half years. It has been before dozens and dozens of empowered committees. Only then has a consensus happened. I beseech you to rise above party considerations,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “If all our CMs agree why are we delaying it? And that means your states will suffer,” he added.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said her government supported the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh as the people wanted it and sought a package from the Centre for rehabilitation of those affected. Her party also supported the GST Bill.
“With (rehabilitation) package we are supporting it (agreement),” said the Trinamool Congress chief, adding, “I talked to the local people. We are supporting it because people were in favour of it. It is not that we are imposing it (on them).” On the rehabilitation package, the Chief Minister said, “Our involvement of land is 17,000 acre. 60,000/70,000 people will come. We have demanded a package for their accommodation, food, for building roads, schools etc. We have to look after their livelihood and for that a package is required. We have to look into their problems. It is a humanitarian problem.”