The constitution amendment bill fails to get consensus
GN Bureau | May 12, 2015
The GST Bill has been referred to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. It will be headed by Bhupendra Yadav. The report of the committee will be placed before house on last day of first week of next session. This decision was taken on Tuesday as the government could not muster consensus on the issue.
The GST (goods and services tax) bill was approved by Lok Sabha on Wednesday after a walkout by Congress, whose floor managers in the Rajya Sabha have made it clear to the government that it will not be possible for them to back the bill without referring it to a select committee.
The Congress, which treats the original GST bill as its "own baby", is learnt to have assured government that it will support the bill for passage in the next session and it could then be brought even as early as on the last day of the first week of the monsoon session.
Being a Constitutional amendment bill, it is required to be passed by both Houses of Parliament by a two-third majority. The Bill will then need ratification of more than half of 29 states before scheduled roll out in April next year. GST was first mooted 12 years ago but couldn't be approved as states feared curbs on their fiscal powers.
The GST shall be implemented from April 1, 2016. It seeks to create a new indirect tax regime which will comprise various central and state levies. They include sales tax, excise and services tax except taxes on the supply of alcohol for human consumption and petroleum products. The whole process of indirect taxation in the country will change once the GST is implemented.
Last week, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said that the GST will herald an economic integration of India. Jaitley had also slammed opposition Congress for stalling the progress of the country by preventing passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill.
"The entire country will become one market and it will be an economic integration of India," Jaitley had said in Mumbai.
"India becomes one uniform market where there is a seamless transfer of goods and services," he said, adding states' share of revenue will go up and economic activity and growth will also improve.
Jaitley said India has capacity to grow in double digit and not just 7-8 per cent.
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