Cong unlikely to move amendments to GST-enabling bills
The Congress is not inclined to move any amendments to the GST enabling bills in the Rajya Sabha before they are returned to the Lok Sabha but may support the amendments moved by other opposition parties. Sources said the party leaders will meet on Thursday to decide on whether to support the amendments moved by other parties on GST bills.
The Congress' top leadership discussed the issue at length on Wednesday and decided not to press or move any amendments in the four GST enabling bills. Congress president Sonia Gandhi chaired the meeting. It was for the the first time that Sonia Gandhi attended a strategy meet since her return from abroad.
During the meeting, sources said, the top party leaders discussed various aspects of GST bills and came to the view that the party would not oppose those since the first GST bill proposed by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee included the proposal for formation of the GST Council. However, party vice president Rahul Gandhi met CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury in the afternoon and discussed the opposition strategy to be adopted in the Upper House.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has moved an amendment to the GST bills to include that anything passed by the GST Council should also get parliamentary approval.
"It was discussed and a consensus emerged where it was decided that this amendment is not going to be taken forward as the Congress Party's amendment," party spokesperson Rajeev Gowda told reporters. He said it is not going to be pressed because ultimately it opens up issues with regard to powers of Parliament and those of the GST Council "as the states also could come forward and say we also want to ratify whatever is being proposed to be passed.