Opposition parties reassess imposing amendments to GST Bills in RS

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

The anti-profiteering provision was introduced by the Indian government to ensure that any tax benefit caused by GST would be passed on to consumers through lower priced goods and services, and not serve to benefit companies.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor raised some issues related to the bill and sought clarifications from the minister.

Four supplementary legislations to the GST bill were passed today by Rajya Sabha, paving the way for its rollout from July 1.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday reflected on the Goods and Service Tax bill being passed in the Rajya Sabha and said that the government will give a final approval to the rules and rates on May 17-18 and hoped that the law could be implemented as planned on July 1. "Even the Constitutional Amendment Bill was supported overwhelmingly", finance minister Arun Jaitley said while summing up the debate at the Upper House. They will now be presented before the President for his consent, following which, states will pass another legislation, readying the country for a uniform Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Four GST bills are expected to be voted on in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Noting that both the central and state governments are pooling their sovereignty to have this tax regime, Jaitley noted that India, despite being one political entity, remained different economic entities with states having different taxes.

Experts believe the GST Bill is one of the most significant reforms since India opened its economy in the early 1990s.




Talking about liquor being left out of the purview of the GST, Tharoor quipped, "you have levied such high taxes on all other items which will drive people to liquor".

Under the GST, for one commodity there will be only one tax rate in the country.

"We can of course ask the Council to reconsider its suggestion". The aim of the GST is to unify India into a common market and eliminate several central and state levies.

The Centre owns 24.5 per cent stake in GSTN, state governments own another 24.5 per cent, while the HDFC, NSE Strategic Investment Corporation, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank own 10 per cent each.

"Parliament can not be ignored", he said, suggesting that the GST should be audited by the comptroller and auditor general.

However, the Central GST (CGST) law has pegged the peak rate at 20 per cent and a similar rate has been prescribed in the State GST (SGST) law, which takes the peak rate to 40 per cent which will come into force only in financial exigencies.

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