New Delhi, March 29: The Lok Sabha is all set to witness a seven-hour long debate on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) – the biggest tax reform since independence – on Wednesday. The crucial debate is likely to continue without a lunch break. Reportedly, the Bill will include various indirect levies of the Centre and states like service tax, excise duty, octroi and Value Added Tax (VAT) and will extend across India except to Jammu and Kashmir. Also Read - Fifth Session of Seventeenth Lok Sabha To Commence On January 29, Likely to Conclude on April 8
Meanwhile, the government is expecting to get Parliament’s nod for four GST bills in the current session which is scheduled to end on April 12. The discussion on GST is expected to start in the Lok Sabha at around 12 noon and to continue till late evening without any break. The BJP is hoping to build consensus and roll-out the GST by July 1. Also Read - GST Officials Detect Over Rs 830 Crore Tax Evasion by Pan-masala Manufacturing Unit in Delhi
Noteworthy, the Congress party will move amendments to the GST bills, as it has concerns about some clauses in the bills and the manner of tabling those in Parliament. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Writes To Lok Sabha Speaker, Says Denied Permission To Speak During Parl Committee Meet
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on March 27, had introduced four GST bills – the CGST, IGST, UT GST and GST Compensation Bills in Lok Sabha – that provide for a maximum tax rate of 40 per cent, an anti-profiteering body and arrests for evading taxes in a bid to overhaul India’s fragmented indirect tax system.
Jaitley introduced the 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 similar tax will be levied by states through a separate State-GST law which is not part of the legislations introduced in the Lok Sabha but would have to be brought by all states in their assemblies.
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Jaitley said the GST bills are based on the principle of shared sovereignty and that the government wants to pass these landmark tax reforms through consensus. He also briefed the party MPs after BJP’s parliamentary party meeting today. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the meeting that the Bills are drafted after detailed discussions in the GST council which comprises all states.