Four GST bills are tabled in House, 40 per cent ceiling set

Jaitley-Chidambaram

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday introduced four bills on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the lower house of parliament, paving the way for the government to launch the landmark tax reform.

The draft legislation was introduced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as the government included the GST matters in the supplementary agenda of the day's business.

One of the most important changes mentioned under this new Bill is making Aadhaar as a mandatory requirement for filing Income Tax.

As a part of the compensation law, states will receive provisional compensation from Centre for loss of revenue from implementation of GST every quarter. A person convicted is punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment and/or fine.

The compensation would be met through levy of a cess called "GST Compensation Cess" on luxury items and sin goods like tobacco, for the first five years.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs S.S. Ahluwalia said the bills were approved late on Friday night, and the Lok Sabha Secretariat was closed during the weekend. It is estimated that rolling out of the GST can add up to 2% to India's economic growth.

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A surcharge of 10% of tax payable on categories of individuals whose annual taxable income is between Rs. 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore will be levied. The GST Council may also extend the duration of compensation received by the states.

Together, CGST and SGST will enable the GST incidence of 40 per cent. Here Congress party again opposed the bill presentation made by Arun Jaitley.

During the meeting, progress of different flagship schemes and development initiatives taken by the government are expected to come up for discussion.

Dismissing the opposition objections, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the bills were sent to the MPs on Saturday morning and there was nothing wrong in these being tabled. They have been passed in the Inter-State Council and the cabinet has taken a decision.

Several opposition members, including Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi and Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy opposed the way in which the GST bills were introduced.

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