Rajya Sabha passes four GST bills to pave way for July 1 rollout
Parliament on Thursday passed four legislations to pave the way for roll out of the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST) from the target date of July 1.
While the Lok Sabha had passed the four bills related to the implementation of the GST on March 29, they were passed by the Rajya Sabha today.
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 returned by the Rajya Sabha after negation of a host of amendments moved by the opposition parties.
All the states will now have to pass the States GST Bill after which the new indirect tax regime can be rolled out.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hailed the passing of the bills and said GST will herald an era of cooperative federalism.
"GST will transform States & UTs into one market, administered by a GST council. GST will herald an era of cooperative federalism. GST legislations passed by RS will bring efficiency & transparency in tax administration," he tweeted, soon after the bills were passed.
"GST bill passed in Rajya Sabha today. We will give final approval to rules & rates on May 17-18. Looks like it can be implemented from July 1," Jaitley said outside the Parliament.
"Happy at the fact that when it comes to enforcing GST bill all political parties came out in one voice," he added.
Earlier, while replying to about 8-hour-long debate, the Finance Minister insisted that the GST, which will usher in a uniform indirect tax regime in the country, will not lead to inflation as apprehended by some sections.
The rates are to be discussed by the GST Council on May 18-19.
Jaitley said once the new regime is implemented, the harassment of businesses by different authorities will end and India will be have one rate for one commodity throughout the country.
The powerful GST Council, comprising Centre and states, has recommended a four-tier tax structure -- 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. On top of the highest slab, a cess will be imposed on luxury and demerit goods to compensate the states for revenue loss in the first five years of GST implementation.
Jaitley said the successive governments have contributed towards the GST and no one person can take credit for it.
"This Bill, I have no hesitation in conceding, is a collective property," he said.
With implementation of the GST, revenue of the Centre, the states and the industry and trade must benefit, he added.