New Delhi, Dec 21: Like the Monsoon Session, the Winter Session of the Parliament is heading towards total washout. The Winter Session is set to conclude on Wednesday but several crucial Bills including Goods and Services Tax (GST), important to push economic reforms, are pending in Parliament. While the Congress led Opposition left no stone unturned to disrupt the proceedings of both- Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) showed lack of political will and strategy to take the Opposition in confidence on the reforms front.
The Monsoon Session of the Parliament was ruined after massive uproar over Lalit Modi controversy and Vyapam scam. Likewise, the Winter Session went in vain over debate, allegations and counter allegation on issues ranging from ‘intolerance’ and ‘National Herald’ to ‘DDCA’ scam. Both the sides did their best to justify their arguments on issues discussed in the Parliament but largely no major decision was taken during the session. (ALSO READ: Is BJP giving fodder to Opposition to stall passage of the Bill?)
The stalled Parliament has also put the future of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in limbo. The GST is set to miss implementation date of 1 April 2016 as the constitution amendment bill is yet to be passed in Rajya Sabha. This is the second consecutive session which has has fallen prey to the Opposition whims and fancies. Though Congress seems to be the biggest culprit, is the Opposition only to be blamed? What about the ruling party?
The deadlock over the GST is a political defeat for the BJP. Congress has been stalling the passage of GST Bill over its demand for a simple GST regime where states do not have powers to levy additional tax over a 18 per cent tax rate, which should form part of the Constitutional Amendment Bill. The BJP could have broken the deadlock by accepting recommendations made by a panel headed by Chief Economic Advisor (CEA), which largely aligned with the Congress demands.
For BJP and prime minister Narendra Modi, who promised major economic reforms, time is running out. Apart from FDI liberalisation, Modi government failed to bring big reforms on economic front. With Winter Session turning to be a total washout, Modi government is on back-foot.