With the Lok Sabha unanimously passing a constitution amendment enabling Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Monday said it would be privileged to work with and support the Central and State Governments in enabling a timely and hassle-free roll out of GST in India.
“The approval of the Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha today marks crossing of another milestone in the journey towards introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in the country. Industry eagerly looks forward to the implementation of this uniform and simplified tax regime. It is expected that GST will lead to easy tax compliance and improve India’s competitiveness in the global arena”, said Mr. Harshavardhan Neotia, President, FICCI.
Asserting that the implementation of GST will be a big incentive for bringing new investments into India and eventually will foster the growth of the Indian economy, Neotia further said that FICCI would be privileged to work with and support the Central and State Governments in enabling a timely and hassle-free roll out of GST in India.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) also welcomed the passing of the Constitution (One Hundred Twenty Second Amendment) Bill 2014 related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the Lok Sabha today.
”With Both Houses passing the Constitutional Amendment Bill, the road is now clear for the next stage – passage by atleast half of State assemblies, before it is assented by the President of India. We look forward to the positive movement and with the passage of the Bill, it is expected that implementation of GST with effect from 1 April 2017 will become a reality”, said Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
Following the historical development, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asserted that it was a very important step forward in unifying the indirect tax structures in India.
“Both Houses of Parliament have approved it and what is important that they have done it by a unanimous vote, which shows the larger political consensus on this issue. It of course now moves to the states and we’ll try to request the states to grant the approval expeditiously,” Jaitley told the media here outside the Parliament.
Echoing similar sentiments, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi hailed the passage of the bill and asserted that the issue relating to the 18 percent cap of GST rate will be taken up by his party in December.
Gandhi while addressing the media said, “Earlier we had three major differences in regard to the GST. We’ve worked out the differences. There is one issue which is the 18 percent issue and we feel that it is a very important issue that there is a cap. Because we are worried about inflation resulting from no cap, we will discuss about it in December. But overall, it is a good step.”
Last week, the GST Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha with the thumping majority of 203 votes.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) members, however, walked out of the Upper House and abstained from voting
After its passage in the Lok Sabha, the Bill will go to the state assemblies for ratification.
The Bill needs to be ratified by half of the assemblies to become a law.
After the amendments are carried out, Parliament will pass the GST and Integrated GST Bills and the assemblies will pass state GST Bill for the roll out of the tax reform in the country.
The chief ministers have assured that if required they would call a special session for the passage of the Bill in their state assemblies.
The GST is aimed at bringing uniform tax regime in the country by subsuming state levies.
Under it, a single rate of GST will replace various taxes to ensure seamless transfer of goods and services.