GST crosses last hurdle; Bill gets passed in Rajya Sabha

Devyani Sultania
GST crosses last hurdle; Bill gets passed in Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday (April 6) passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill which means the central government can now be able to roll out the bill from July 1, 2017. 

The four Bills that have been passed are: the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017, and the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017.

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha that he is not hesitant to admit that the GST Bill is not one for which one person or one government should take credit.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh spoke in the Upper House on Thursday just before the Bill was passed urging the Congress to not seek changes to the bill in order to "maintain consensus and federal agreement."

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However, the Trinamool Congress sought an amendment to make the parliamentary approval of the recommendations of the GST Council mandatory. The GST Council is headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and consists of finance ministers from all states.

Last month, the Lok Sabha had approved the Central GST (CGST), Integrated GST (IGST), Union Territory GST (UTGST) and the Compensation to states law bills. Now that the Bill has been passed in the Rajya Sabha, the state assemblies will consider and pass the respective State GST (SGST) law.

The GST Council had approved five amended rules for GST regime and had also given a "tentative" nod to the remaining four as the Centre prepared to rollout the Bill on July 1. The final approval to the remaining four rules will be given in Srinagar on May 18-19 when the council meets. The GST rates for major commodities and services will also be fixed at the meeting.


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