New Delhi, (PTI) Government on Wednesday asserted it has "enough" support for passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament that will commence from July 18 till August 12.
After a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh that recommended the schedule for the session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters that the session could also be extended or curtailed by two-three days depending on requirement.
The session will have 20 working days for now.
Emphasizing that the GST bill is in the larger interest of the country, Naidu said, "We have a wider support and we have enough numbers for GST but we would like to have all parties on board because it will have an effect on states."
He said that the government wants to get the bill passed by consensus and is making efforts in that direction but asserted that even if consensus is not there, "we must get it approved in this session".
He said that voting on the bill will be the last option, suggesting that the government would like to avoid any trial of strength on this issue and will strive to take all parties along.
However, since it is a Constitutional Amendment Bill, voting will have to take place.
Replying to questions on whether Government will step up efforts to bring Congress on board, which has been opposing the bill on some conditions, he said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is ready to hold further discussions with all parties including Congress.
Naidu also referred to the recent interview of the Prime Minister in which he sought the cooperation of Opposition parties for passing GST.
In the meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told Naidu that she was ready for a discussion on the recent foreign visits of the Prime Minister in view of issues like India's membership to NSG, if members want it.
Rajnath Singh, who chaired the meet, pushed for early passage of Lokpal and Lokayukta (Amendment)Bill while Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said there was a need for an early passage of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill. Both are pending in Parliament.
Naidu said besides GST, the government will push for passage of three bills replacing ordinances on Combined Entrance Exam for medical and dental colleges as well as the one seeking amendments to the Enemy Property Act.
Naidu said while 56 bills are pending --11 in Lok Sabha and 45 in Rajya Sabha, he has also asked ministries to come up with at least 25 new bills.
The ministries will have to give notice for bringing the new bills by July 3. .
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