Paving way for the rollout of the much-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1, the Rajya Sabha has approved four supplementary GST legislations- the Central GST Bill, the Integrated GST Bill, the GST (Compensation to States) Bill and the Union Territory GST Bill, without any amendments. The bills were returned by the Rajya Sabha after negation of a host of amendments moved by the opposition parties. These bills will now be presented before the President for his consent, following which, all the states will have to pass the States GST Bill after that the new indirect tax regime can be rolled out.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley participating in the debate insisted that the GST, which will usher in a uniform indirect tax regime in the country, will not lead to inflation as apprehended by some sections. He also said the successive governments have contributed towards the GST and no one person can take credit for it. With implementation of the GST, revenue of the Centre, the states and the industry and trade must benefit, he added.
The GST Council, in its meeting had recommended a four-tier tax structure — 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. On top of the highest slab, a cess will be imposed on luxury and demerit goods to compensate the states for revenue loss in the first five years of GST implementation. Besides, the rates are to be discussed by the GST Council on May 18-19.