Wednesday , March 27 2019

Rajya Sabha passes four GST bills

Arun Jaitley

The Rajya Sabha passed four legislations bills which will enable the administration to rollout the landmark Goods and Services Tax Bill and now the states have to pass their respective GST bills.

On Thursday Rajya Sabha passed a bill for paving out the roll of Goods and Services Tax (GST) that will impose a tax on the petroleum products and eliminating cess on some of the items.

The four legislations passed by the upper house are Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017 and the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017. In the last month, the Lok Sabha has passed all bills and compensation to the states law.

After an 8 hour debate, the Rajya Sabha passed the bill where the opposition parties opposed the amendment, but all were neglected and finally, the bill was passed in the House.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the introduction of the bills is  a game changer.

Several concerns have been raised by the Opposition parties about the uniform tax regime and said that passing of bill results in the rise of prices of all the essential commodities.

Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister said that the bill will not lead to any rise in the commodities and there will be the only rate for a commodity all over the country.

“It is a collective property in which States, political parties, central government, successive governments have all contributed to it. And I have no difficulty in sharing the credit for this with everyone, particularly, the State Governments,” said Jaitley while replying to the discussion.

He also talked about the petroleum and alcohol products, in the case of Petroleum at present a GST is imposed but with zero rated and it takes time for the council to decide the rate and the GST for the petroleum succeed hopefully. Moreover, the states were not in an agreement in the case of Alcohol.

On demand of real estate which is expected to be brought under the GST tax regime, Jaitley said that some of the states have supported it but the administration will see the experience and will decide further about real estate under GST.

He said that they have created a federal institution which will decide by itself what to be done on the issues of alcohol, petroleum and real estate.

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He said that the state Jammu and Kashmir in the Constitutional Amendment itself and in the law is not included because of Article 370 but consumers in the state will be left out of the benefit of GST.

Now, the state assemblies have to pass their respective State GST bills.

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