New Delhi: The long-pending Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST), moved in the Lok Sabha amid stiff resistance by several Opposition parties, would be taken up for consideration and passing tomorrow.
The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill 2014 was moved on Friday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who had said it was a “win-win” measure for both the Centre and the states as he sought to allay the apprehensions of some state governments that they would lose revenue if GST was implemented.
A Constitution amendment bill has to be passed by two- thirds majority of members present in the House and voting.
Members of Congress, led by Sonia Gandhi, along with those of the Left, TMC and NCP staged a walk out after their plea for referring the Constitution Amendment Bill to the Standing Committee was not accepted. AIADMK and BJD also opposed its consideration but did not walk out.
The Opposition members had alleged that the government was “bull-dozing” and bringing the bill in “hush hush” manner and wanted more time to study the “new” legislation.
The House had also witnessed an hour-long wrangling over the procedures between the ruling and the opposition sides, after which the Bill was taken up when Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ruled that it was an important legislation on which the Finance Minister can make introductory comments and a discussion can be taken up at a later date.
Commending the Bill for consideration and passage, Jaitley had said “GST is going to lead to a win-win situation as far as the Centre and the states are concerned. It is going to up India’s GDP. It is going to up India’s revenue and therefore I commend GST Constitution Amendment Bill to the House for (consideration)”.
Seeking to assuage fears of states, he said the Centre and the states will have concurrent power to levy tax on goods and services.
He said when Value Added Tax was introduced, states had demanded compensation for more than five years, but not a single state asked for compensation in the sixth year.
“Therefore, please do not have this fear (of revenue loss on account of GST implementation),” Jaitley said.
The bill on GST, which will be the biggest tax reform after 1947, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December last year.
A single rate of GST will replace central excise, state VAT, entertainment tax, octroi, entry tax, luxury tax and purchase tax on goods and services to ensure seamless transfer of goods and services.
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