LS clears GST Bill, paves way for uniform tax regime
The BJP government passed over its first milestone on the road to economic reforms with the Lok Sabha passing a historic Bill to subsume all existing central and state taxes under a single goods and services tax (GST) with a potential to reduce corruption and boost trade.
The Constitution Amendment Bill 2014, commonly known as the GST Act, was required to be passed with the majority of the total membership of the House — more than 272 votes in a 542-member House — and the majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting.
It was fulfilled with 352 votes in favor and 37 against with the principal Opposition Congress walking out before the vote, signalling a tough road ahead for GST in the RS where the BJP is heavily outnumbered.
The Bill that was passed today includes eight government amendments moved by Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, who specified GST as a system of indirect tax with the least harassment and evasion.
Reducing fears of the AIADMK, Congress, Shiv Sena and CPM that states would lose taxes in the new system, Jaitley urged MPs to shed their “fear of the unknown” saying he didn’t foresee states losing revenue.