The parliament on Thursday took the most decisive step, as it passed all the four GST bills clearing the path for July 1 rollout for the revolutionary and unified tax system i.e. GST (Goods and Services Tax).
Rajya Sabha cleared The Union Territory GST Bill, 2017, The GST (Compensation to States) Bill 2017, The Integrated GST Bill, 2017 and The Central GST Bill, 2017.
The nation moves an inch closer to fulfilling the one-country-one-tax reform. The historic decision comes after the Lok Sabha cleared the four GST bills in parliament on March 29.
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister asserted that once the new tax reform comes into play, harassment of organisations by diverse authorities will cease and we will have one tax rate for one commodity/merchandise all throughout the nation.
In response to the 8-hour long debate in the parliament house, Mr. Jaitley besides giving credit to the former UPA government for their GST efforts added that the new tax regime will bring in a uniform and indirect tax system in the nation and won’t trigger inflation as conceived by certain sections.
“I have no hesitation in conceding that it is a collective property,” Mr. Jaitley stated. Further, he added that GST would not only benefit trade and industry, but will also benefit states and centre as well. The GST council is eyeing May 17-18 dates to approve the final rates and rules paving way for July 1 rollout.
The Rajya Sabha sanctioned all the four GST bills after intense negations over a number of amendments by the opposition parties.
With the parliament giving green signal, the obligation is being shifted to states that are now required to approve the state GST rules in respective state assemblies.
The Centre has already issued detailed rules for the purpose of stakeholder consultations. Whereas, the GST council is set to take up the remnants of this revolutionary tax reform next month to fix individual tax rates for goods and services.
The GST council on November 2016 has already decided a four-tier rate structure – 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. Most goods are anticipated to fall under the 12% and 18% bucket, whereas a cess would be imposed on sin and luxury goods. The GST law allows a maximum tax rate of 40% (20% of which would be state GST and 20% would be central GST).
Mr. Jaitley took to twitter to express his gratitude: Here’s what he tweeted on the historic decision:
With regard to Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Jaitley stated that the bill passed by the Rajya Sabha won’t be applicable to the state due to Article 370. However, Jammu and Kashmir will need to pass its own law for integrating the GST reform.
Also as regards to the various concerns put forth by the members of parliament on the GST network, IT brain, etc. Mr. Jaitley stated that the entire GST structure has been designed to recruit the best talents, as it would be handling millions of tax vouchers each month.
In another stint, the Lok Sabha on Thursday approved a bill in an effort to make customs and excise act compliant with the GST regime. This bill aims to get rid of the current cesses that would be incorporated into GST.
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Source: Deccan Chronicle and The Economic Times