Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rajya Sabha unanimously passes Constitution Amendment Bill to facilitate rollout of GST

Rajya Sabha has overwhelmingly passed the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014 to facilitate rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country.

The GST Bill is aimed at bringing uniform tax regime in the country by subsuming state levies. Under it, a single rate of GST will replace Central Excise, State VAT, entertainment, entry and luxury taxes to ensure seamless transfer of goods and services. Now, the Bill will again go to the Lok Sabha and then ratified by at least 50 per cent of the states Legislative Assemblies, to become a law.

Replying to over six hour long debate on the Bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will try for the most reasonable rate for GST.

He dismissed the apprehension of members that Centre will have veto power in the proposed GST Council saying it would have only one third weightage in it.

On Congress demand to bring proposed Central GST and Integrated GST bill as a financial bill, and not as a money bill, the Minister assured the House that he will comply with the Constitution and will discuss the opposition members before bringing the Bills. 

Government will announce GST implementation roadmap today. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said, it is only end of a beginning and the real work starts now. He said Center wants to implement it as soon as possible.

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