The Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, which has been pending for several years, is likely to be passed in the ongoing session of Parliament.
The trade and industry in the country is anxiously looking for the moment when the biggest tax reform legislation, the Goods & Services Tax Bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha and in all probability will be passed by the house for its next journey of attaining assent of the State legislatures.
“The trade and industry is webbed into cobweb of complex tax system having multiple authorities and GST is seen as a taxation system which will convert the Country into a unified market, replacing most indirect taxes & subsuming all those taxes into a single tax regime, “said the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
“The decision of the Government to drop proposed 1 per cent additional tax in GST on inter-state transactions will remove the possible cascading effect of taxes under GST. However, several other provisions of the model bill of GST needs to be dealt with to make it a balanced taxation act which may lead to easy and voluntary compliance and also culminate into widening of tax base as well,” National President of CAIT, B.C.Bhartia said.
On July 27, the Cabinet had cleared changes in the legislation, dropping the controversial one per cent manufacturing tax and providing guarantee to compensate states for any revenue loss in the first five years of rollout of the ambitious indirect tax regime.
CAIT Secretary General, Praveen Khandelwal said,” that traders have many concerns related to procedures of GST but passing of GST bill in Rajya Sabha will facilitate further discussion with trade and industry and as such all political parties should extend their cooperation in giving safe passage to GST in Rajya Sabha. ”
The government is keen to get the GST Bill approved during this Monsoon Session of Parliament ending on August 12.
The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in May 2015 and vetted by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee. However, the measure got stuck in the Upper House where the government does not have majority of its own, as the main opposition Congress sought certain changes in it.
Once the Rajya Sabha clears the legislation, the amended legislation would be returned to the Lok Sabha for its approval.
The GST legislation, which intends to convert 29 states into a single market through a new indirect tax regime, was earlier planned to be introduced from April 1 this year, but the deadline was missed as the legislation to roll it out remained stalled in the opposition-dominated Rajya Sabha.
“Once the GST Bill is passed by the Parliament, we intend to launch a national campaign during which we will meet Chief Ministers and Finance Ministers of all States and by submitting a memorandum will urge upon them to initiate talks with Trade Federations and Associations of their respective States for obtaining their concerns and views,” CAIT said. It also plans to hold 50 GST Conferences all over the Country for making public opinion.
“A big rally in support of GST and to demand a simplified taxation system will be held at New Delhi once State legislatures pass GST Bill in their respective State Assembalies,” CAIT said.