Parliamentary discussion on GST Bill begins today
Today (24 April 2015), India's Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, spoke in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament) on the Constitutional Amendment Bill (CAB) for Goods and Services Tax (GST).
He said that a consensus had been arrived at in his meeting with various state finance ministers two days ago. He mentioned that this was perhaps the only legislation that had seen a number of committees examining it. While some provisions of the CAB have been changed, he reasssured all that none of the states would lose any revenue with the implementation of GST.
The Opposition walked out of the Lok Sabha to counter the government's bid for a debate on GST, stating that if there were new amendments to the CAB, the matter should be referred to the Standing Committee. Currently, the proposed revisions made to 122nd CAB are not available in the public domain. But the Finance Minister reiterated that he had already introduced it in the Lok Sabha on 19 December 2014 and had asked the House to take it up for discussion and for its eventual passage. In order to explain the win-win situation, he said that currently the states did not get any share of service tax as it went entirely to the centre; but with GST, they would get a share. GST will also help improve tax compliance, boost overall revenue and India's GDP growth.
The CAB needs to be passed with a two-third majority in both Houses of Parliament, after which it will have to be passed by at least half the states.
India's Modi government is making an all-out effort to implement GST from 1 April 2016. Hopefully, the CAB will get passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday, 27 April 2015.
We will be keenly monitoring the developments on GST in the coming days to see how they will affect its effective implementation. If you have any queries on GST, please do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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