Cabinet okays key GST bills

Posted March 21, 2017

The Cabinet on Monday cleared four GSTrelated bills that will be introduced by finance minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament with the government saying the new tax regime is "likely to be implemented" from July.

Central GST Bill: The CGST Bill sets the tax regime for levying and collection of GST on supply of goods and/or services that are happening within the boundaries of a state by the Central Government.

The GST laws were the only agenda at the meeting of the Union Cabinet on Monday.

The UTGST Bill makes provisions for levy on collection of tax on intra-UT supply of goods and services in the Union Territories without legislature.

The one nation, one tax regime through the GST is to be brought in through approval of the Bills by Parliament as well as a separate Bill to be passed by the state Assemblies.

On the other hand, the iGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on inter-State supply of goods or services or both by the Central government.

The draft bills now need to be tabled in Parliament's ongoing budget session. The GST Council had given its nod for the Bills on Friday.

The passage of the four GST-related Bills - the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Bill 2017, the Integrated GST (IGST) Bill 2017, the Union Territory GST Bill 2017 and the GST (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017 - will pave the way for the biggest reform in the area of indirect taxes in the history of independent India, it said.

It is expected that the implementation of the GST laws will drive the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country up by 1-2 per cent.

The Compensation Bill provides for compensation to states for loss of revenue due to implementation of the Goods and Services Tax for five years as per Section 18 of the Constitution (101st Amendment) Act 2016. "This in turn will lead to the creation of more employment and increase in productivity", it said.

Whether the immediate reason is to prevent waste of time on rolling this out by July 1, it must be remembered that crucial members of Parliament from the Opposition, such as Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, are members of the upper house, whose significant contribution and interjections have been effectively dismissed from the final GST law.