The Government today gave green signal to the Constitution Amendment Bill indicating a strong desire to push the Goods and Services Tax, despite lack of consensus among states for implementing the new regime on indirect taxes. It will try to introduce the Bill in the ongoing Budget Session itself which concludes on March 25.

“We will try to introduce it in Parliament in this (Budget) session,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.

Although the Bill was approved in principal by the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, there was a view in the Cabinet that the draft of the proposed legislation was “not perfect in nature”, sources said.

Therefore, the law ministry has been asked to fine tune the Bill, they added.

Sources said a lot of issues, particularly those raised by states, would be sorted out when it is discussed by the Standing Committee to which it would be referred to after being introduced in Parliament.

“When the Bill is referred to Standing Committee of Finance, state governments and other stakeholders will get a chance to suggest changes to make it acceptable to all,” a source added.

The GST will subsume indirect taxes such as excise duty and service tax at the central level and VAT on the states front, besides local levies.

The Finance Ministry has worked on the final draft Amendment Bill, the fourth since the discussions on the new tax regime started. The first three drafts were rejected by various states raising concerns over their autonomy.

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  1. vswaminathan says:

    This, for what one knows, marks a singular development of its kind- in the history of our ‘constitutional law’; IN THAT, THE PROPOSAL ENTAILS MAKING CETAIN SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE RELATED ARTICLE (S)OF THE NATION’S bASIC CHARTER .

    Without anyone bothering self or the others to go into the merits or otherwise of the proposed GST scheme as such, also problems likely to be faced against its succesful implementation after enactment, the entire focus as of now is simply this: The proposal is by and large considered a step in the on-going exercise at ‘simplification’.

    AS reported elsewhere, the ‘step forward’ having been accomplished by the ‘UC’ giving its ‘nod’. The Nation now simply awaits the FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS, TO THE END OF THE final resolution; albeit with a ‘mixed feeling’ and ‘thawing expectation’ as to what is ‘in store’ ahead.


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September 2021