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‘Bihar not losing much’: Janata Dal (U) to back GST bill

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The first meeting of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee threw up an unexpected good news for the NDA government when JD(U), which has 11 members in the Rajya Sabha, said it would support the GST bill as Bihar does not stand to lose too much being a non-manufacturing state.

“Bihar is not a manufacturing state, so we do not lose too much. That is why JD(U) is in favour of the bill. It is a decision we have taken after careful consideration of the ground realities, not one that has been taken with closed eyes. There will be a four year guarantee for the compensation,” JD(U)’s K C Tyagi told The Indian Express.

The support of the ruling party of Bihar would be a significant victory for the beleaguered NDAgovernment which is struggling to put together the numbers in the Upper House to pass the Constitution (122nd Amendment) bill that seeks to introduce the Goods and Services Tax. Being a Constitution amendment bill, it requires the presence of at least 50% of members in any given House.  At least two-thirds of those members have to vote for it for the amendment to be passed. When the bill was put to vote in the Lok Sabha, Congress had staged a walkout and only 37 members of the AIADMK had voted against the Bill. Parties like BJD and Trinamool had moved amendments but they were voted out.

Meanwhile, in Friday’s Select Committee meeting, opposition members, in a bid to embarrass the government, repeatedly referred to Gujarat, saying how the panel needs to “understand” the reasons for the state’s opposition to the bill during the UPA regime and what is it that has now made it amenable to it.

The matter was raised by Congress’s Madhusudan Mistry who said that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was holding the office of the Chief Minister of Gujarat, his state had been one of the most vociferous against the very bill that the government is now trying its utmost to get past the Upper House.

Tyagi recounted how a group of finance ministers headed by then Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi had a tough time reconciling to the objections of the Gujarat government.

Anil Desai of Shiv Sena pointed out that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation stands to face serious cuts in its Rs 42,000 crore budget if GST is pushed through.

-source The Indian Express