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Headway on GST, Cong Isolated on key demand

In a big step, a majority of states have backed the government on key issues which have been stalling the Goods and Services Tax or GST bill, raising hopes that with greater numbers backing the bill could be taken up in the Rajya Sabha in the current monsoon session. Most of the states have agreed that a cap on the rate of GST can’t be mentioned in the main bill that seeks to amend the constitution, isolating the Congress which has cited this as a key demand while stalling the legislation in the Rajya Sabha for nine months after the Lok Sabha passed it.

As per the bill, businesses of less than Rs 1.5 crore turn-over will be under their administrative control and not the Centre’s. The centre has also had to back down on a proposed one per cent surcharge. In parliament, a thaw between the Congress and the BJP-led government saw the two sides agree last week to block five hours to debate and pass the bill.

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