The Rajya Sabha has unanimously cleared a bill that amends the Constitution to enable the Goods and Services Tax or GST, India’s biggest tax reform. The Congress voted for the bill as it had promised, the AIADMK staged a walkout.
In what will pave the way for a uniform tax regime in the country, the much-awaited Goods and Services Tax (‘GST’) is all set to become a reality after the Bill received its unanimous nod in Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of the Parliament on August 3.
The GST will also replace most of the current Central and State indirect tax levies.
What Now: The Bill as passed by the Upper House will now have to be sent back to the Lower House for its approval of the amendments moved in the Upper House.
Thereafter, the Bill would need to be ratified by more than half of the State Legislatures. The ratified Bill will finally need to receive Presidential assent to be effective.
After the Presidential assent, GST Council would be set-up for making recommendations on various aspects of the GST structure. GST legislation(s) would also need to be passed by the Parliament and respective State Legislatures.
With the critical Parliamentary process of amending the Constitution nearing a closure, the industry would now closely watch developments around building of consensus between Centre and States on various implementation issues including the GST rate.
Implementation of GST: The industry would now expect to be provided sufficient time for engaging with the law makers to address various industry specific issues. The timeline for implementation of GST, which as of now is expected to be April 1, 2017 would also be keenly watched.
Down the Memory Lane: It is interesting to note here that the process began its journey almost 7 years ago in the year 2009 with the discussion paper on GST being issued by the Empowered Committee.
The Constitution (115th Amendment) Bill, 2011 was initially tabled in the Lower House in 2011 but that bill lapsed. A revised bill was then tabled and passed by the Lower House in May 2015.
PM thanks members of all parties on the passage of GST Bill in Rajya Sabha
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 3, 2016
Our MPs must be congratulated for their path breaking decision to give India an indirect tax system for the 21st century.
We continue to work with all parties and states to introduce a system that benefits all Indians and promotes a vibrant and unified national market.
This reform will promote Make in India, help exports and thus boost employment while providing enhanced revenue.
I would like to add that GST will also be the best example of cooperative federalism. Together we will take India to new heights of progress”, the Prime Minister tweeted.
(For FAQ on GST, Pl see :http://energyinfrapost.com/faq-gst-want-know-goods-services-tax/)
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