In a shot in the arm for the government, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has come out openly in support of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and urged its coalition partner, Congress, to refine its stand.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley met Kumar on July 19 when the issue came up. It seems the duo have agreed to the passing of GST Bill in the Rajya Sabha, where it has been stalled in the last some sessions.
Hoping that it would be passed in the current session, Kumar told the media that “JD(U) fully supports the GST Bill. This bill is in the interest of the country and states.”
Announcing his support, Kumar has joined his voice along with Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party and even All India Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam, albeit with some reservations.
Kumar was also understood to have sought the release of funds under backward region grant and fiscal aid for the student card which the Bihar government was planning to launch.
The CM’s support for the legislation is important for the NDA, which has launched yet another round of discussions with CMs and regional parties in a bid to ensure the bill’s passage in Rajya Sabha, where it lacks the majority.
While this was so, opinion in the Congress is a divided house, vice-president Rahul Gandhi will indicate the party’s final call.