Advocate Anandaday Misshra
GST With A New Deadline
GST implementation in India has a new deadline of 16th September, 2017. This has been aired by FM that anyhow GST will be implemented in India not later than the said date.
However, it must be noted that 1st April, 2017 is STILL a target to Introduce GST for Implementation in India.
Winter Session of Parliament
The Central Government is all set to introduce GST legislation during winter session of Parliament. The winter session is to start from 16th November 2016.
For smooth passage of GST legislation, amongst other Bills, an all party meet has also been called upon by the Government before the onset of winter session.
GST Via Money Bill
The Central Government is likely to introduce GST Bill as Money Bill. But, this move will face oppositions from every opponent political parties. It is pertinent to understand that there are 3 kinds of Financial Bills as below :
a. Money Bills,
b. Financial Bills category-I &
c. Financial Bill category-II.
Where Money Bills are those bills which are related to exclusive provisions as listed in Article 110 of the constitution.
What is Article 110?
The Article 110 defines the Money Bill as below:
110. Definition of Money Bill
(1) For the purposes of this Chapter, a Bill shall be deemed to be a Money Bill if it contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters, namely
(a) the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax;
(b) the regulation of the borrowing of money or the giving of any guarantee by the Government of India, or the amendment of the law with respect to any financial obligations undertaken or to be undertaken by the Government of India;
(c) the custody of the consolidated Fund or the Contingency Fund of India, the payment of moneys into or the withdrawal of moneys from any such Fund;
(d) the appropriation of moneys out of the consolidated Fund of India;
(e) the declaring of any expenditure to be expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or the increasing of the amount of any such expenditure;
(f) the receipt of money on account of the Consolidated Fund of India or the public account of India or the custody or issue of such money or the audit of the accounts of the Union or of a State; or
(g) any matter incidental to any of the matters specified in sub clause (a) to (f)
(2) A Bill shall not be deemed to be a Money Bill by reason only that it provides for the imposition of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment of fees for licences or fees for services rendered, or by reason that it provides for the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax by any local authority or body for local purposes
(3) If any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of the Speaker of the House of the People thereon shall be final
(4) There shall be endorsed on every Money Bill when it is transmitted to the Council of States under Article 109, and when it is presented to the President for assent under Article 111, the certificate of the Speaker of the House of the People signed by him that it is a Money Bill
Disputed Money Bill
Recently, a PIL petition was filed, by Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, in Supreme Court under Article 32 for breach of fundamental rights. The petition categorically challenged the decision of the Central Government to treat Aadhaar bill as a money bill, which was passed during Budget session in March 2016, overruling amendments moved in the Rajya Sabha.
However, in the last hearing before the Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, the Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi amongst various pleas, submitted while Defending the Speaker’s decision, that the petition has no locus standi in as much as:
i) The Speaker’s views on whether or not to treat a Bill as money Bill was not open to judicial review,
ii) There was a complete immunity to such proceedings inside Parliament and
iii) And there was no violation of any fundamental right of the Congress leader and hence a writ petition under Article 32 was not maintainable.
However, the matter is believed to be still sub-judice.
It will be very interesting to see as to how the Central Government copes with the heat in houses of Parliament. Since, at the time of passing of the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014 in Rajya Sabha on 3rd August 2016, it was emphasized by the Congress and its allies that the GST should be not introduced as a money Bill.
Whereas, the Central Government is all set to introduce it as Money Bill. This compels the author to think as to how this will affect the working in the GST Council. Because, the State Governments have substantial stake in the GST Council.
Hence, the introduction of GST as Money Bill may create another hurdle in reaching consensus in GST Council as well.
For an advance level understanding of GST, please keep referring www.gstprofs.in
by Anandaday Misshra, Founder Advocate , AMLEGALS
( The author is one of the leading litigation and advisory advocate. He is an eminent speaker and author on various laws including GST. He handles cases in various Tribunals & High Courts of India. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org .For more, please refer www.amlegals.com )