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GST Bills passed in Rajya Sabha without amendments

07 April 2017

The Goods and Services Tax bills was on Thursday passed in the Rajya Sabha.

Praful Patel of the Nationalist Congress Party expressed apprehension over the proposed "harsh punishments" in the GST Bills, and said they should be done away with to create a good atmosphere for business.

Parliament today passed four legislations to pave the way for roll out of the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST) from the target date of July 1.

The compensation law provides a legislative backing to the centre's promise to compensate the states for five years for any revenue loss arising out of GST implementation.

Jaitley said the successive governments have contributed towards the GST and no one person can take credit for it.

Referring to an aspect in the bill which talks about powers of a tax official to "collect relevent information", he said this was questionable as "the arbitrary powers will lead to abuse and corruption".

The Parliament on Thursday passed four GST-related bills, paving the way for the new indirect tax to be implemented nationwide.

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The CGST Bill will enable collection of tax on inter-state supply of goods and services or both by the union government. "It will become hard to implement", Jaitley said but O'Brien did not relent.

With entertainment taxes getting subsumed in GST, prices of movie tickets and theatrical performances may become cheaper in most states.

"There is only one amendment that was being planned by Jairam Ramesh, which is the one which says that anything passed by the GST Council should also get parliamentary approval", said Congress spokesperson Rajeev Gowda at a media briefing.

Jammu and Kashmir will have to legislate its own law and integrate with the GST regime, Jaitley said, adding the state government was working on this as it would benefit the people there.

The GST rates are to be discussed by the GST Council on May 18-19.

"We can of course ask the Council to reconsider its suggestion".

The Centre owns 24.5 per cent stake in GSTN, state governments own another 24.5 per cent, while the HDFC, NSE Strategic Investment Corporation, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank own 10 per cent each. The Government of India holds 24.5 per cent equity in GSTN and all States, including NCT of Delhi and Puducherry, and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, together hold another 24.5 per cent. The government has set the maximum GST rate at 40% and introduced provisions for an anti-profiteering authority and arrests for evading taxes.