New Delhi: After successfully passing the constitutional amendment bill to roll out goods and services tax (GST) in the Rajya Sabha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants the crucial bill to be ratified by its state governments at the earliest.
The BJP leadership has invited chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) governments on 27 August to urge them to call a special sitting of their respective state assemblies. The chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of BJP-NDA-ruled states are expected to meet party president Amit Shah and senior members of the Union cabinet during the meeting.
Senior BJP leaders said that the meeting on 27 August will focus on ratification of GST by the state governments and the chief ministers will be urged to call a special sitting of their state assemblies for GST. The meeting is important because Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asserted that the government will stick to the deadline of 1 April 2017 for the roll-out of GST.
The meeting of BJP-NDA chief ministers and deputy chief ministers will be crucial because out of the 16 states that need to ratify the GST, BJP-NDA is in power in 14 states and the party wants to make the most of its presence in many states. The only exception will be Jammu and Kashmir because of the special status of the state.
“There will be two meeting chaired by BJP president Amit Shah. There is one meeting with chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of states where BJP is in power on its own or in alliance. All the chief ministers and deputy chief ministers will be urged to ratify the GST at the earliest and even call a special sitting of the assemblies for GST.
Another meeting will be held on 23 August when Shah will take report from state leaders on various government schemes, especially the flagship programmes of the Union government,” said a senior leader of BJP.
NDA leaders are also banking on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik and Bihar chief minister to call a special sitting of the assembly and ratify the constitutional amendment.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders have issued a whip to Lok Sabha members asking them to present in the lower house on Monday when the government presents the GST bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.