Published: Thu, March 30, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Lok Sabha GST Bill debate - Who Said What

Lok Sabha GST Bill debate - Who Said What

The Lok Sabha today passed the four legislations that will pave way to Goods and Services Tax in the country which is likely to be imposed by September this year.

The finance minister said the GST Council, comprising the finance ministers of different states and Union territories, had agreed to take a decision on bringing real estate within the ambit of the new tax regime within a year of its rollout.

With the passing of the bill, GST is expected to boost GDP growth by about 2% as it removes inter-state barriers and turns India into single market, boosting efficiency and slashing costs. The Compensation Bill has been drafted to give a legislative backing to the centre's promise to compensate the states for five years for any revenue loss arising out of GST implementation.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting of his council of ministers to brief them ahead of a seven-hour debate on GST on Wednesday in the Lok Sabha.

The Government presented the GST bill as a a Money Bill in Lok Sabha, according to the procedure, Money bills passed by the Lok Sabha are sent to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house may not amend money bills but can recommend amendments.

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GST, which the government intends to roll out from July 1, 2017, will subsume central excise, service tax and state VAT among other indirect levies on manufactured goods and services.

Jaitley in detail explained the four bills-Central GST, Integrated GST, Union Territory GST and the Compensation Law-to the MPs and how these legislations would be beneficial, Kumar said.

Actual tax rates would be as per four-tier rate structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent as approved by the GST Council.

Leading the debate for the opposition, Congress member of Parliament Veerappa Moily was critical of numerous provisions of the bill. "This is a very serious matter, just don't take shelter under constitutional amendment", Moily said in Lok Sabha. Not a great reform which will be a gamechanger, said Moily. One Nation, One Tax - this is what everybody is made to understand. In simple terms, the buyer will have to ensure that he is purchasing the goods from a GST registered dealer, otherwise the government can ask him to pay tax on the principle of reverse charge. This will be met through a fund - Rs 26,000 crore will come from the corpus generated by the levy of the clean environment cess on coal and Rs 24,000 crore collected from the cesses to be levied on demerit goods such as tobacco, luxury cars, pan masala and aerated drinks. He said the taxation powers would continue to be with the legislatures and would be used on the recommendations of the GST Council.

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