Parliament has cleared the decks for the rollout of the historic Goods and Services Tax, GST, from July 1 as it approved four supporting legislations to usher in the one-nation-one-tax regime.
The Central GST Bill, 2017; The Integrated GST Bill, 2017; The GST (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017; and The Union Territory GST Bill, 2017 were returned by the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote as all parties were on board. Before returning the bills to the Lok Sabha, the Upper House rejected all the amendments moved by TMC and CPI(M).
Later talking to reporters outside Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, Parliament passed all the four bills related to GST unanimously. He said, it is a matter of happiness that all political parties extended their support in the passage of the bills.
Mr Jaitley said, the bills will become the law after the President gives his assent to them. He said, now, the States can pass the State GST Bill in their assemblies.
Earlier, replying to the debate on the GST, Mr Jaitley assured the Rajya Sabha that agricultural produce will not be taxed under the new indirect tax regime. He said, all those items which are exempted as of now will continue to be so. The Finance Minister said, under the present system, there is a federal arrangement which no party can unilaterally alter.
On GST network, Mr. Jaitley said the data is fully secured with an IT firewall. He said, with the passage of the new law, free flow of goods and services will take place and the country as a whole will benefit.
Mr Jaitley said once the new regime is implemented, harassment of businesses by different authorities will end and India will have one rate for one commodity throughout the country.
Mr Jaitley said successive governments have contributed towards the GST and no one person can take credit for it. He also informed that Jammu and Kashmir government has agreed to bring a legislation in its assembly to get its extension to that State.