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GST Bills get cold welcome

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The four Bills to operationalise the rolling out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) were introduced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha on Monday amid Opposition protests that the Bills were not listed on the day’s agenda beforehand.

This objection followed the the Business Advisory meeting of the Lok Sabha, with the final decision that the Bills — the Central Goods and Service Tax Bill 2017, Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017, Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017, and the Goods and Services Tax Bill (Compensation to States) 2017 — will be taken up on Wednesday for consideration and passing.

Govt. keen

A senior Opposition MP who attended the meeting told The Hindu that the government had been keen on taking up the Bills for clearance on Tuesday. “This is however, not acceptable. These are four complicated Bills with far-reaching implications for State finances. Therefore we managed to defer it to Wednesday,” he said.

The government proposes to launch the GST from July 1. It is estimated that rolling out of the GST can add up to 2% to India’s economic growth. The fifth GST law — the State GST Bill — needs to be cleared by the Legislative Assemblies of all States and Union Territories with Legislature.

‘Watershed moment’

“The introduction of the GST Bill in the Lok Sabha today marks a watershed moment in the tax reform landscape of the country,” M.S. Mani, senior director at Deloitte Haskins Sells said. “This marks the successful culmination of a series of steps taken by the government since August 2016 and it now appears certain that India is headed for a GST rollout from July 2017.”

“With the introduction of the GST Bills in Parliament, it is now expected that the GST Rules and the GST Rates for both goods and services would be announced soon, enabling business to be prepared for the imminent go-live date of July 2017,” Mr. Mani added.


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 6:13:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/gst-bills-get-cold-welcome/article17687370.ece

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