Lok Sabha takes up GST Bill today: 10 facts
Dated 29th March, 2017
The Lok Sabha is all set to discuss the Goods and Services Tax Bill today, after finance minister Arun Jaitley tabled the landmark tax reform bill on Monday. The GST, which the government expects to implement from July 1, is the biggest tax reform since independence. The GST regime will subsume various indirect levies of the Centre and states, create an input tax credit chain for refunds, while also making way for an anti-profiteering authority.
Hopeful that GST will be passed through consensus: Jaitley
Describing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill as "revolutionary", finance minister Arun Jaitley hoped that all the related bills would be passed with consensus in the current budget session of Parliament.
Congress to move amendments to GST bills
The Congress party will move amendments to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bills on Wednesday, as it has concerns about some clauses in the bills and the manner of tabling those in Parliament.
Senior leaders, including vice-president Rahul Gandhi, said the party should not be seen as one that is opposed to the proposed tax regime.
"In general, we are supporting the bill. We will put our views across tomorrow and move necessary amendments," said one of the Congress MPs.
GST Bill tabled in Lok Sabha
On Monday, finance minister Arun Jaitley introduced four GST bills in the Lok Sabha, that provide for a maximum tax rate of 40 per cent. The new legislations also provide for the creation of an anti-profiteering authority that will see the benefit of lower taxes is passed on to consumers, as well as setting up a Consumer Welfare Fund.
Union Cabinet clears GST draft bills
On March 20, the Union Cabinet cleared four legislations for implementing GST, which will be introduced as Money Bills in the Lok Sabha on March 29.
The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The CGST Bill), the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The IGST Bill), The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The UTGST Bill) and The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017 (The Compensation Bill).
Central Goods and Service Tax or CGST bill which will amalgamate all the indirect central government levies like sales tax, service tax, excise duty, additional customs duty (Countervailing Duty), special additional duty of customs, surcharges and cesses. CGST provides for a maximum tax of 20 per cent.
A bill on Integrated-GST -- to be levied and collected by the Centre on inter-state supply of goods and services -- was also introduced in the Lok Sabha. The IGST law provides for a maximum tax of 40 per cent, which will be apportioned equally between the Centre and the states.
A Union Territory GST bill will take care of taxation in UTs of Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
The Compensation Bill
Jaitley also introduced a fourth legislation called GST (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017 that provides for a mechanism for making good any loss of revenue of states from introduction of GST in first five years of rollout.
GST council to finalise further rules
The GST Council, comprising Union Finance Minister and his state counterparts, has already approved the 4 legislations over a series of 12 meetings. The Council will meet again on March 31, and will finalise the rules and formats for the new indirect tax regime.
The Council has already approved four-tier tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent plus an additional cess on demerit goods like luxury cars, aerated drinks and tobacco products.
The work for putting various goods and services in different slabs is slated to begin next month.
FM underlines urgency to pass GST bills in this session
The government has emphasised the urgency to pass the GST laws during the current session of Parliament, saying the Centre and the states would otherwise lose their right to collect indirect taxes after September 15.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill for roll out of GST was notified on September 16, 2016 and it provides for one year to switch-over to the new indirect tax regime.
"So after September 15 this year, the legal entitlement for collection of taxes will end. So the alternative system has to come in place before September 15," finance minister Arun Jaitley said.