New Delhi, June 15: Come Monsoon session, the Goods and Service Tax (GST) could become a reality owing to the consent of most states and increased strength of the ruling party in the upper house. So far, the GST bill faced strong opposition in the Rajya Sabha, primarily led by the Congress party in previous parliamentary sessions. Also Read - Late Arun Jaitley's Son Rohan Files Nomination For DDCA President's Post
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently held a meeting in Kolkata with the finance ministers of 22 states with the purpose of finding common ground with respect to the GST bill. Since the bill is a constitutional amendment, it would require a majority of two-thirds of the Rajya Sabha where opposition by congress has been obstructive. With regional parties on board with the new reform, and the weakened position of the Congress in the Upper house, GST bill could be implemented by April 1, 2017. (ALSO READ: Salient features of draft GST Bill) Also Read - 'Rajya Sabha Footage Shreds Government’s Version', Oppn Comes Down Heavily on Govt; Dy Chairman Issues Clarification
In a rapidly growing economy such as India, the new tax regime could offer more clarity, and widen the tax base for the economy by integrating several state levies. This would help attract more foreign investors and allow international companies to do business in India with ease. The current tax regime with a number of taxes deters foreign businesses from coming to India. Also Read - Parliament Adjourns Sine Die, Monsoon Session Cut Short by Eight Days Over Coronavirus Concerns
In the long-run, GST will help the economy grow by 1.5 to 2 per cent, as per a forecast by the Firstpost. The government and the Congress party mainly disagree on three points, whether to include the GST rate in the constitution, exclude inter-state levies from the bill, and establish an autonomous body for dispute resolution.