Council nod to 4 rules for GST

The deck for July 1 rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) has been cleared after the Lok Sabha on Wednesday night nodded for four related crucial supplementary Bills. He said that the actual rates of those commodities would depend on whether the rich is accessing them or the poor. Unlike the "Concurrent list", where Central government's laws prevailed over state laws in areas in the list, Jaitley said that under the amended Article 246 (A), both the Centre and states have been "conferred simultaneous jurisdiction" in the GST.

Similarly, there were major changes in the GST Bill presented in the Lok Sabha from the draft Bill circulated to all stakeholders six months back.

"As the goods and services tax is to be introduced with effect from July 1, 2017, the four legislations...are in the process of being enacted", it said. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, it is New Year, New Bill and New India.

But that does not make the introduction and passage of the four bills in the Lok Sabha any less impressive.

Jaitley said all decisions on GST would be taken by the GST Council, reflecting the federal structure.

Countering the opposition's objection to a GST with multiple rate slabs, the Finance Minister said, "If there are no multiple rates, it will become a highly regressive tax..."

BJD's Bhartruhari Mahtab raised the issue that the definition of agriculturists who were exempt from paying GST had not been widened to include poultry and dairy farmers, fishermen and tenant farmers.

Jaitley said the meeting on May 18-19, besides finalising the rules, will also take up for consideration the rate structure in relation to individual commodities.

A cess will be levied on demerit and luxury goods temporarily for a period of 5 years and its proceeds will be utilised for compensating the states for their revenue losses. With the passage of GST bills, it will be one nation, one tax and it will give a big boost to GDP.

"Given the fact that the council is meeting next on May 18-19 to finalise these rules and rates would be finalised thereafter, implementing GST from July 1may be extremely hard for the government", said Pratik Jain, indirect tax leader, PwC.

Adhia termed the passage of the four laws as a "historic milestone in economic history of this country".

The GST is expected to deal a blow to the underground economy by bringing more small businesses into the tax net.

"GST input tax rules, valuation rules, transitional provisions, composition". As a result, once CGST and IGST bills are passed by Parliament, the J&K Assembly will have to pass a legislation saying the two laws are applicable to them, official sources said. Each of India's states has its own regime for taxing goods.

  • Zachary Reyes