Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

GST Bills in Rajya Sabha today

GST Bills in Rajya Sabha today

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed four supplementary bills which will enable the government to roll out the landmark Goods and Services Tax (GST) on July 1.

The Bills are related to central GST, integrated GST, UT GST and GST compensation.

"Overall, it is a positive step toward implementation of GST, as without rules, it was hard to plan ahead", Jain said, adding that the industry hopes several issues around valuation and input credits will be revisited. GST is a unified tax that will subsume all indirect taxes. He said, the work on fixing rates has started and GST council will take final decision next month.

He said the harsh provisions related to the recovery of tax should not be implemented during the transition phase of the GST. There will be some challenges because we are switching to a new regime.

A moderate rate would facilitate compliance, he said.

Rajya Sabha passed the GST bill without any amendments. He said the GST is anti-MSME, industry, agriculture.

Clarifying on the tax rate on petroleum products in the regime, Jaitley said that the Council has decided that the petroleum products though they have been included under GST, will remain zero rated as of now.

"GST is the only tax which is simultaneously levied by the Center and states", he said. "Therefore, as the GST experiment succeeds, hopefully, one-day petroleum will come into it", he said. Further, the GST will pull down India's gross domestic product (GDP), by up to 2%.

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Manmohan Singh hailed the passage of GST bills by Parliament and observed that the new indirect tax regime could be a "game-changer", he, however, cautioned that there could be "difficulties" in its implementation. "The management structure created has to face penal consequences if any information is leaked", he said.

The balance 51 per cent equity is with non-government financial institutions - HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd. Ramesh said Singh wanted the consensus in the GST Council to be respected and that the House should not be seen as standing against it. The Government of India holds 24.5 per cent equity in GSTN and all States, including NCT of Delhi and Puducherry, and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, together hold another 24.5 per cent.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury had discussed the issue with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday but the latter had been non-committal.

"Parliament can not be ignored", he said, suggesting that the GST should be audited by the comptroller and auditor general.

The Opposition in all likelihood bring some amendments and force voting on them as it did in case of the finance bill last week.

Just before the bills were voted on after an eight-hour debate in the upper house, the former prime minister intervened and asked his party not to seek changes in them to "maintain consensus and federal agreement".

There also have been demands from some stakeholders to delay the implementation of the GST.

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