GST Bill is an enabling amendment , 3 more law needed : Finance Minister

By | August 9, 2016

GST Bill is an ‘enabling amendment’, 3 more laws still needed: Arun Jaitely

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley moved the GST Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday and said that while it is an “enabling amendment”, there still remains work to be done as three more laws have to be created, of which two will have to go through Parliament. The GST Constitutional Amendment Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in May 2015. However, the bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha only last week, and with separate amendments to some its clauses. That’s why Jaitley had to move the bill in the Lok Sabha again, today. The Lok Sabha needs to ratify those separate amendments the Rajya Sabha made last week. The rates of taxation – or the GST rate – will be decided by a GST Council that will be formed, Jaitley said, indicating that there’s still a long way to go for the bill’s provisions to become effective. The Centre on its part wants the GST to be rolled out by April 2017. “The government is trying to accommodate the opinions of all the parties, and a majority of political parties have supported the GST, “Jaitley said. In addition, the Centre has also addressed concerns of all the states on GST, he said. The finance minister said the government is making an attempt “to avoid complexities” so that the GST becomes the best version of ‘One Nation, One Tax’ “If one pays tax at one stage, they (that person) won’t have to give another tax on that tax component. So tax on tax will be eradicated,” he said, reiterating a point he’s made before. Congress stresses its role in GST Bill In the meanwhile, the opposition Congress – whose support went a long way in making the GST Bill a reality – said it might be wise to be cautiously optimistic. “We must wait before calling GST a game changer. It is too early to call it a revolution,” said Congress leader Veerappa Moily. “Stakeholders are plenty; we don’t know their reaction on this. The GST Council has to tackle all the states and Union Territories,” Moily said. The Congress has time and again, since last week, stressed that it was the one to first consider such a bill and that it was supporting this version of it for the good of the country. “If there was political consensus, this law would’ve come long, long back. But the Congress is now here, extending full support for GST, Moily added. After the bill is passed in the Lok Sabha, state legislatures too have to pass bills approving the GST. At least 16 of the 29 states need to ratify the GST Bill and they have to do that 30 days after Parliament passes it. Several Chief Ministers have assured that, if required, they will call a special session for the passage of the Bill in their state assemblies. After a majority of states approve the Bill, a GST Council will be formed that will decide on the GST rate and also decide on an appropriate dispute redressal mechanism. – [08-08-2016]

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