A special two-day session of the West Bengal assembly has been convened on August 26 to discuss and pass the GST bill. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill have been recently passed in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha with thumping majority. Almost all political parties, except AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), setting aside all political differences have voted in support of the GST bill. Within few days, Assam assembly passed the GST bill followed by Bihar and Jharkhand. Meanwhile, a proposal to rename West Bengal as Bengal will also be taken up during the two days of special assembly session.

Responding to media after an all-party meeting at the Assembly complex, Speaker Biman Banerjee disclosed that the special two-day session will also discuss the step-motherly attitude of the central government. There are reports that the chief minister Mamata Banerjee is not in good terms with the center over the policies of the Narendra Modi government.

GST Bill requires ratification of 15 state assemblies

The GST bill will have to be ratified by at least 15 of the 29 state assemblies. The Prime Minister is hopeful of completing this process by the year end so that the new tax structure can be rolled out from April 2017.

After that, the GST bill will be sent to the President who will accord sanction for the implementation of the new tax reform bill. It’s certain that Tamil Nadu assembly will not pass the GST bill.

The states like Kerala have a positive mindset about the GST and are expected to take up the GST bill during the upcoming assembly session. Meanwhile, Dr. TM Thomas Issac, Kerala finance minister said to media yesterday that Kerala will benefit more from the GST bill. This signals his eagerness to pass the bill at the earliest.

West Bengal to be renamed as Bengal

During the all-party meeting, State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee informed members about the state government’s proposal to rename West Bengal as “Bengal”.

The cabinet took the decision on August 2. Earlier, the proposal to rename the state as ‘Paschim Bango’ in 2011 failed to deliver fruits since the then UPA government declined to approve the name suggested by the state government. It seems that centre has given his consent to rename the state as “Bengal”. In English, the state will be called as Bengal and in Bengali, it will be “Bango” or “Bangla”.

In addition to the GST bill, the West Bengal assembly will also discuss the rapid spreading of dengue across the state.