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Cabinet OKs GST draft Bills, to be introduced in Parliament this week

| | New Delhi

Pushing India’s biggest tax reforms at a faster pace, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday approved four legislations for implementing Goods and Service Tax (GST), an aim to meet the July-1 deadline to rollout the indirect tax reform in the country. It is expected that the Bills will be introduced in Parliament this week.

The GST Council has already approved four-tier tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent plus an additional cess on demerit goods like luxury cars, aerated drinks and tobacco products. The work on for putting various goods and services in different slabs is slated to begin next month.

However, the Bills on compensating States for loss of revenue from GST rollout in first five years as well as those enabling levy of the new tax on intra/inter-State movement of goods and services will be brought in the on-going session of Parliament later this week.

The approval of Parliament, coupled with a separate one by all State Assemblies, will complete the legislative process for the roll out of one-nation-one-tax regime by merging central taxes like excise duty and service tax as well as state levies like VAT.

“The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the four GST related bills -- The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The CGST Bill), The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The IGST Bill), The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The UTGST Bill) and The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017 (The Compensation Bill),” an official statement said.

These will be introduced as Money Bills in the Lok Sabha this week. “It could be even today, but the discussion on the four legislations could happen together. The GST legislations were the only agenda in the Monday’s Cabinet meeting,” an official said.

“The passage of these four GST related bills will pave the way for the biggest reform in the area of indirect taxes in the history of independent India,” said the statement, adding that with the Cabinet approval of these four bills, the GST regime in India is in the final stages of culmination and the GST law will most likely be implemented from July 1.

The statement further said, “Introduction of GST would also make Indian products competitive in the domestic and international markets. Studies show that this would have a boosting impact on economic growth. It is expected that the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax law will lead to an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country by 1-2 per cent. This in turn will lead to the creation of more employment and increase in productivity.”

Amalgamating a large number of central and state taxes into a single tax will mitigate cascading or double taxation in a major way, paving the way for a common national market. “The GST will thus help in the realisation of the objective of One Nation, One Tax and improve the ‘ease of doing business’ climate in the country. It will also indirectly benefit the common man by reducing the tax burden especially on the daily consumer items of the common man,” the statement said.

Also, it added, GST regime will bring in more transparency and efficiency with the minimisation of human interface in the tax administration in the country.

 
 
 

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