Arun Jaitley introduces GST Bill 2017 in Lok Sabha

Francis Osborne
March 28, 2017

While introducing the changes in the Finance Bill 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "We are moving towards a time when there will be no shadow economy but some are still seeing virtues of cash transactions".

The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill provides for compensation to the states for the loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of GST.

Government has set a target of first of July for rollout of GST, which will subsume excise, service tax, VAT and and other local levies.

The Narendra Modi government is racing against time to roll out GST from July, after successive governments have missed deadlines.

The bills were introduced as money bills in the Lok Sabha, which means the Rajya Sabha can debate on them but its vote was not binding for their passage.

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Earlier, the Union Cabinet and GST Council had cleared four supporting GST legislations. A person convicted is punishable by up to five years of imprisonment plus a fine. The tax reforms, which aim to unify most federal and state taxes, are expected to boost economic growth by about 0.5 percentage points in its first year of implementation.

Together, CGST and SGST will enable the GST incidence of 40 per cent.

A surcharge of 10% of tax payable on categories of individuals whose annual taxable income is between Rs. 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore will be levied. Countering this, minister of state for parliamentary affairs S.S. Ahluwalia said the bills were uploaded on the government's website at midnight on Friday.

The Opposition MPs took strong objection to the statement saying how could the government expect the members to check the website at midnight and why the issue was not discussed at the meeting of Business Advisory Committee last week. The council will meet again on March 31, and will likely approve the items in each tax category. The discussion on the four bills - C-GST, I-GST, UT-GST and the compensation law - could be taken up on Tuesday.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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