Parliament passes amendment Bill for GST; shifts reform to states who need to pass it

Parliament passes amendment Bill for GST; shifts reform to states who need to pass it

India News

Parliament has passed the constitution amendment Bill to roll out Goods & Services Tax, shifting this historical reform to states that need to pass it quickly for the Centre to take the next steps.
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the changes to the Constitution (22nd Amendment) Bill, 2014, cleared by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday last week. In all 443 members voted in favour of the Bill and none against. The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill last year in May, but that underwent some amendments in the upper house. The government wants to implement this tax, which will replace as many as 17 indirect taxes levied by states and the Centre, from April 1, 2017. It needs to get two more laws to be passed by Parliament in the winter session. The government is in touch with several state governments to get the Bill passed that will create a national market for delivery of goods and services currently fragmented along state boundaries. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the GST rate will be decided by the GST Council, a body of states and the Centre that will be set up after the constitutional amendment is approved by the required number of states and signed by the President. “This (rate) is a subject of calculation and not political sloganeering,” Jaitley said in his reply to the debate on GST, rebuffing demand for a cap of 18% on the rates.