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Differences with Congress on GST have narrowed down: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley said differences with the Congress on the GST Bill have narrowed down and announced that he and his Cabinet colleague M Venkaiah Naidu will reach out to the main opposition to iron out contentious issues. "Venkaiah Naidu and I will make more efforts with the Congress. I see the differences narrowing down," Jaitley said at a press interaction on the fate of the GST and the Bankruptcy Code Bills.

Source: The Economic Times dated 21 March 2016


BJP Making Congress Fall Guy For Non-Passage Of GST: Jairam Ramesh
Dismissing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's remarks on the GST, the Congress said large sections of the BJP do not want the reform measure and the ruling party just wants to make the Congress the "fall guy" for its non-passage. "They want to put the blame on to the Congress party. Gujarat is against GST, a 
large number of the trading community is against GST. Many senior leaders of the BJP are against GST," Mr Ramesh said.

Source: NDTV dated 19 March 2016

GST to push India's economic growth rapidly: Vijay Kelkar
The introduction of GST is an important reform which will lead India into the next rapid phase of economic growth, said former Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission Vijay Kelkar. "The most important reform will be GST which will bring this country 
as one market. Launching of GST has taken us into next very rapid phase of growth," Kelkar, a noted economist, said at a Skoch summit.

Source: Moneycontrol dated 18 March 2016


Numbers change in Rajya Sabha will permit GST passage: Arun Jaitley
The government hopes that the biennial elections 
in the Rajya Sabha will give it enough seats in the upper house of the Parliament to pass the GST Bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. “Numbers are going to significantly change in the Rajya Sabha with the biennial elections. Every political party in parliament, barring one, has told me it will support GST,” Jaitley said, fielding questions at the annual India Today Conclave.

Source: The Financial Express dated 18 March 2016


Difficult to accept Congress demand on GST cap: Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it is difficult to accept demands of the Congress to cap the GST rate in the pending Constitutional Amendment Bill (CAB), but remained hopeful that it will get passed in the second half of the Budget session. “Every state government is in favour of GST. You have every political party in the Parliament which has said they will vote in favour,” he said, adding, “In the Lok Sabha, the Congress walked out; every other party voted in favour."

Source: Business Standard dated 18 March 2016


Did you know?
The GST Bill has been introduced twice in the Parliament, once during the UPA Government in 2011 as the 155th Constitutional Amendment Bill (old GST Bill) and the 
second time as the current 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill (new GST Bill). The major differences between the two are:
  1. Inclusion of the definition of ‘service’ in the 122nd CAB as compared to the 115th CAB.
  2. Expanding the scope of GST by bringing petroleum within the GST ambit as compared to the 115th which excluded petroleum and its allied products.
  3. The 122nd CAB completely subsumes the entry tax under GST. Entry tax was only partially subsumed earlier under the 115th CAB.
  4. The 122nd CAB provides for additional tax not exceeding 1% in the course of inter-state trade or commerce, unlike the 115th CAB.
  5. The 122nd CAB provides for compensation to the states for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of GST for such period which may extend to five years, unlike the 115th CAB.
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