New Delhi, March 29: Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed four key Bills related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), after which the Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of the country on the landmark achievement. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the passage of GST Bills ‘historic’, adding that the country will witness transforming into a new system of indirect taxation. the Several analysts have termed the legislation the most important tax reform post independence. The bills related to the GST are aimed at the universalisation of indirect taxes in India. Also Read - PM Modi Dedicates Made-in-India Arjun Battle Tank to Army in Chennai, Launches Infra Projects Worth Several Crores
The Lok Sabha passed four key Goods and Services Tax Bills, rejecting amendments moved by the opposition. The Bills are related to Central GST, Integrated GST, UT GST and GST Compensation. The Central GST Bill, 2017; The Integrated GST Bill, 2017; The GST (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017; and The Union Territory GST Bill, 2017 were passed after negation of a host of amendments moved by the opposition parties. The Central GST deals with taxation related to Centre, integrated GST deals in taxation of inter-state movement of goods and services while the Union Territory GST Bill covers taxation in Union Territories. Also Read - Budget 2021: Interesting Facts About Indian Budget And How It Changed Over The Years
The GST bills followed a long trail of negotiations between the states and central government on the compensation rates for the loss of revenue in initial years. Similarly, the bill also witnessed several provision with regard to goods like petrol generating chunk of revenue for the states. Once the bill gets the President’s assent, India will join the club of countries like China bringing universal indirect tax regime to the country. Also Read - Sourav Ganguly Tests Negative For Covid-19; PM Narendra Modi Wishes BCCI President Speedy Recovery
- The Bills are related to Central GST, Integrated GST, UT GST and GST Compensation.
- The Central GST deals with taxation related to Centre, integrated GST deals in taxation of inter-state movement of goods and services while the Union Territory GST Bill covers taxation in Union Territories. The compensation law has been prepared to give a legislative backing to the Centre’s promise to compensate the states for five years for any revenue loss arising out of GST implementation.
- Replying to around eight hour-long debate, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Goods and Service Tax will replace various indirect taxes with a new tax regime. The bill will ensure free flow of goods and services across the country and the goods will become slightly cheaper after multiplicity of taxes is removed.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the objective of Goods and Service Tax is to have one tax and each assessee with one assessing officer. Responding to members’ questions he said that under the GST, for one commodity there will be only one tax rate in the country. said the division of powers between the centre and the states on taxes are clearly defined in the bill.
- Arun Jaitley emphasised that the division of powers between the centre and the states on taxes are clearly defined in the bill. He added that GST council will take the decision on when to bring alcohol and petroleum under GST.
- Responding to the criticism of making Goods and Services Tax as the money bill, the Finance Minister said it is taxation law and there has been no single legislation imposing taxes being passed as non- money bill since 1950.
- Criticising the government’s move, Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said that the GST bill cannot be termed as a game changer, further alleging that the new legislation will lead to tax distortion between the State and Central tax administration. He also alleged that there are no anti-inflationary measures in the bill.
- Government has set a target of first of July for rollout of GST, which will subsume excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies. Once these Bills are cleared by Parliament, the states will then take the state GST Bill to their respective assemblies. S-GST has been prepared as a model of the central GST, with each state incorporating state-specific exemptions.