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GST Bills tabled in LS: Govt trying to bring farmers under tax net, says Congress

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Mar 29, 2017, 12:52 pm IST
Updated : Mar 29, 2017, 3:22 pm IST

States and Centre have to work together to make this work... we will have to honour this federal institution, Jaitley said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo: PTI)
 Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills on Wednesday in the Lok Sabha, opening the debate on the much awaited bill, eyeing a July 1 launch.

Eight hours have been allotted by the Speaker for discussions on the tax reform bill.

Calling the bill revolutionary, Jaitley said the change would benefit all. “12 meetings of the GST council were held to make it a process based on consensus and recommendations,” the Finance Minister said.

Here are the highlights:

Bhartruhari Mahtab, Biju Janata Dal

  • Do not expect too much from GST. It all depends on revenue neutral rate. It is uncertain if the revenue will grow next year. It is also uncertain the consumer will gain. We will get to know about its impact in a year.
  • All of Odisha’s issues were not considered by the government. Justice wasn’t delivered.
  • In GST era, every state will have to file 31 returns every year, which goes against the ‘One nation one tax’ claim.

Kalyan Banerjee, Trinamool Congress

  • West Bengal has always fought for the rights of the marginalized and needy.
  • West Bengal fought uncompromisingly to protect the fiscal autonomy of all the states.
  • Mamata Banerjee gave in-principle support for GST as early as 2009.

AIADMK MP TG Venkatesh Babu

  • TN is concerned about the proposed impact GST will have on the fiscal autonomy of states.
  • GST legislation ‘jeopardises’ the fiscal decisions of states.
  • A manufacturing state like Tamil Nadu will susbtantially lose revenue if GST is implemented.
  • GST does not affect agriculture as agriculture is tax-free. But GST on fertilizer is 25% which is high.
  • There is apprehension that GST will make the commercial tax department redundant.
  • The late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa had raised these issues from 2014

BJP’s Udit Raj

  • GST will end the cascading impact of current taxes.
  • Udit Raj highlighted Modi government’s initiatives such as Make in India and Digital India, saying BJP will dispel the doubts raised by Moily later.

Congress leader and chairman of standing committee on finance, M Veerappa Moily

  • Seven to eight years have passed after the previous UPA government initiated the GST bill... the country has lost Rs 12 lakh crores due to the delay.
  • There are number of issues that need to be dealt with... The problems are humongous for bankers.
  • This (GST) is a technological nightmare. It will not add any incremental revenues to the govt... Refunds should have been automatic.
  • GST can lead to a turf war between the Centre and state tax authorities. The single market dream for the industry has been degenerated into five laws.
  • A taxpayer has to file multiple forms and go through several authorities under the GST regime. The government is trying to bring farmers under the tax net even though farm products are exempt.

Arun Jaitley

  • The objectives of the four GST bills are same. The idea was to have a consolidated tax for states and the country. The uniform tax (GST) is aimed at replacing multitude of local and central taxes, said Jaitley.
  • The GST council has been empowered to fix GST rates... The council has held 12 meetings so far and it has sent its recommendations for five GST laws.  We are now creating by law a jurisdiction both in the states and the Centre
  • Jaitley announces pending GST rules to be finalised by March 31.
  • GST Compensation bill will ensure compensation to states for the first five years of GST rollout... Cess over 28% to go into a compensation cess fund that will be used to compensate states,
  • GST Council is India’s first federal institution in which the sovereignty of states and Centre have been pooled together to decide on taxes. States and Centre have to work together to make this work... we will have to honour this federal institution.

Earlier, Jaitley had tabled the four GST related bills- the CGST, IGST, UT GST and GST Compensation Bills in Lok Sabha.

The CGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods or services, the integrated GST deals in taxation of inter-state movement of goods and services while the Union Territory GST Bill covers taxation in Union Territories.

The compensation bill has been drafted to give a legislative backing to the Centre's promise to compensate the states for five years for any revenue loss arising out of GST implementation.

Once these Bills are cleared by Parliament, the states will then take up the state GST Bill in their assemblies. S-GST bill has been prepared as a model of the central GST, with each state incorporating state-specific exemptions.

Jaitley said the GST bills are based on the principle of shared sovereignty and that the government wants to pass these landmark tax reforms through consensus.

He also briefed the party MPs after BJP's parliamentary party meeting today.

The meeting was also told that the new legislations will usher in a one-nation one-tax regime.

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

Tags: gst bill, lok sabha, arun jaitley
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi
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