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Government lists 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha for 3 August 2016
The long-pending 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill is to be listed for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha on 3 August amidst strong indications that the most far-reaching taxation reform in independent India would be supported by Congress and all other major political parties. "The 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill is listed for consideration and passage on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha and we seek support of all political parties. The mood is in favour of its passage," said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar.

Source: The Times of India dated 2 August 2016

Congress spokesperson says party will support GST
In the first official confirmation, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the party will support its passage when the Bill is tabled in Parliament. Noting that there had been movement on the subject, Singhvi added that the government's decision to table a fresh GST Constitutional Amendment Bill was a "clear sign of convergence". He, however, said that many details of the tax reform will still have to be worked out and that some states were still to come aboard. The GST Amendment Bill is slated to be taken up in Parliament on 3 August and will likely include demands that states and opposition parties have made with respect to the Bill.

Source: Money Control dated 2 August 2016

To garner support for GST, government reaches out to CPI(M)
To garner support for the crucial GST bill, which will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on 3 August, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met the Congress Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yehcury, who insisted that the government reach out to all parties for consensus on the proposed legislation. Yechury said Jaitley saw merit in the concerns over the Constitution Amendment Bill and assured that those would be factored in while taking the final call. He said, his party is awaiting the final version of the legislation.

Source: Money Control dated 2 August 2016

GST dispute resolution system a temporary measure
The contentious dispute resolution mechanism under the proposed GST regime would not be a permanent structure. A temporary set-up is envisaged to address the differences among or between states, and with the Centre, sources said. A committee is also likely to be set up on the modalities of the proposed full compensation to states for five years, if they earn less revenue under the GST regime compared to the existing tax system. The GST Council, whose decisions might lead to these disputes, will work out a mechanism for the redressal of disputes. The Council is yet to be set up, so the mechanism would be worked out later.

Source: Business Standard dated 1 August 2016

Telcos seek uniform GST rate across India, cap at 15%
India's top telcos have urged the government to resolve some issues before implementing the GST regime, calling for a uniform rate across states/union territories, with a cap of 15%. A higher GST rate, they said, would drive up the cost of provisioning services, and in turn, adversely impact both prepaid and postpaid consumers due to higher phone bills. The call for a uniform tax rate for telecom services under the proposed GST regime stems from the fact that circle boundaries are not in sync with geographical borders of states/union territories in several cases.

Source: The Economic Times dated 1 August 2016

Union Cabinet approves key changes to GST Bill, drops 1% additional tax
The Cabinet cleared changes in the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill, dropping the 1% manufacturing tax and providing a guarantee to compensate states for any revenue loss in the first five years of the rollout of the proposed indirect tax regime. The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to include in the Constitutional Amendment Bill, that any dispute between states and the Centre will be adjudicated by the GST Council, which will have representation from both the Centre and states.

Source: The Times of India dated 27 July 2016

Did you know?
A GST Council will be formed to spearhead the implementation of GST in India once the Constitution Amendment Bill clears after the President’s assent. The GST Council will be responsible for making recommendations to the states and union regarding various issues like floor rates, classification, exemptions, special provisions, etc.
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