What is the GST bill?
The GST Bill was first discussed by the Vajpayee Government in 2000. It aims to replace all the indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the Central and State Governments with one single tax.
BJP opposes UPA's GST Bill
- BJP slammed the UPA government for introducing the GST Bill in the budget session. Its main contention was that a consensus had not been arrived at amongst the states.
- Most BJP-ruling states stood against the GST Bill in its present form.
- The Government had originally planned to introduce the Bill in April 2010, but had missed the deadline.
Revised GST Bill presentation in winter session
- GST Bill was first introduced by the UPA Government as a constitutional amendment bill in the Lok Sabha in 2011.
- The Government had planned to implement the revised GST Bill provisions from 1st April 2016.
- The bill was stalled due to the absence of consensus over the compensation of the loss of revenue incurred by the states.
States oppose the revised draft of GST Bill
- The states rejected the GST Bill saying that it had failed to address their concerns on taxes on petroleum products and entry tax.
- The opposition to the Bill came during the meeting of the Empowered Committee of state Finance Ministers called by the centre.
- They wanted a clause for compensating them for any loss in revenue upto 5 years after the implementation of GST.
Jaitley to meet state Finance Ministers
- Arun Jaitley would chair a meeting of the Empowered-Committee of state Finance Ministers.
- The states felt that the Bill would be helpful for the consuming states and not the manufacturing states.
- The centre and states had also started discussing the Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR).
- Currently, 27% RNR is the rate at which there won't be any loss to the states after GST's implementation.
Lok Sabha passes the GST Bill
- Goods and Services Tax Bill is now expected to go to the Rajya Sabha.
- It is expected to pass in the Rajya Sabha since the Government has tried to build a consensus for the bill.
- Congress didn't oppose the bill but staged a walkout; thus enabling the Government to pass the bill with 2/3rd of the majority needed for the constitutional amendment bill.
Rajya Sabha ratifies GST, Congress puts it down
- A Rajya Sabha Select Committee ratified a report approving majority rulings of the GST Bill.
- While the centre assented to compensate the states for revenue loss for 5 years, Congress has formally objected to the GST Bill.
- Headed by Bhupender Yadav (BJP), the 21-member committee embraced the report which will be submitted in the Rajya Sabha later this week.
Congress stands alone in objecting the bill
The Congress is the minority party to have objected to the bill. All the others including the Trinamool Congress, the Janata Dal (U) and the Samajwadi Party favoured the proposed bill.
GST reaches Rajya Sabha; Congress raises procedural blocks
- The Government moved the GST bill for consideration of Rajya Sabha, but a debate on it was blocked by Congress which raised procedural issues.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rebuked the Congress, stating the party was raising various hindrances just to hamper the country's growth.
- The Congress said the bill had been listed in the business without the assent of members.
Jaitley eager to pass GST bill, Congress thinks otherwise
- India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley remarked that he desired to "implement a new goods and services tax (GST) by next April 1" in spite of the opposition Congress party hindering its passage through the legislature.
- However, the proposal of a special session was rejected by the Congress Working Committee delivering a blow to the government's attempt to pass the GST bill.
GST bill to be approved soon: Arun Jaitley
- FM Arun Jaitley has expressed confidence that the parliament would soon pass the Good and Services tax bill.
- The Rajya Sabha numbers should change in the coming spring in BJP's favour; this will allow easy approval of the bill.
- He said that he is willing to speak to Rahul Gandhi on the issue and is ready to compromise on some of Congress's demands.
Jaitley hopeful of GST passage in budget session
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that despite several delays, he was optimistic about passage of Constitution Bill for GST in the budget session of Parliament.
- He expected BJP numbers to improve, stating that "halfway through the budget session, the numbers of the Upper House are also going to change."
- Parliament's budget session is set to begin in the last week of February.