New Delhi [India], Apr. 6 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asserted that the passing of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the Rajya Sabha is a "historic moment" for the Indian democracy, adding that the revolutionary bill will herald an era of cooperative federalism.
Jaitley, while speaking to the media, said the passing of the GST Bill is a clear indicator of consensus being achieved with regards to a matter of national importance.
"The decision to pass the GST bill was a unanimous one. This shows the country's unity. There will be obstacles following the GST's rollout, however, we will face the challenges and make sure it is passed. A final meeting will be held on May 17 and 18 to discuss the rules of the bill and come to a consensus on the tax rates to be levied," said Jaitley.
"The Bill contains a provision for transition period. Therefore, there will be leniency with regards to levying taxes on those organisations which will face compliance issues," added the Union Finance Minister.
With regards to incorporating the State GST, Jaitley said the Central GST, once approved by the President, will come into effect immediately.
"SGST has certain rules which need to be cross-referenced with the Central GST. To this effect, the CGST will be incorporated as soon as the President's consent is received," he added.
According to Jaitley, implementation of the GST will reduce tax evasion, thereby reducing the taxes to be paid in the long run. This, in turn, can help in increasing the efficiency of the taxation system in the country.
"GST will transform States and Union Territories into one market, administered by a GST council. GST legislations passed by the Rajya Sabha will bring efficiency and transparency in tax administration," said Jaitley.
Echoing similar views, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu lauded Jaitley's efforts and perseverance, guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's desire to fulfill the aspirations of the poor, youth, women and the middle-class strata of society.
"Passing of the GST will surely benefit the common man in the long run. This revolutionary tax reform will go a long way in reducing corruption and increasing central and state revenue, thus supporting our Prime Minister's vision to reform, perform and transform," said Naidu.
The Lok Sabha, earlier on March 29, passed four key GST Bills, related to Central GST, Integrated GST, UT GST and GST Compensation.
The 'revolutionary' bill, which is said to be a culmination of all indirect taxes under one bracket, is being scheduled for rollout on July 1, 2017. (ANI)