Congress, AIADMK and Left file dissent on RS panel's GST report

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New Delhi, Jul 22: Congress, AIADMK and left parties have filed dissent notes on the report of Rajya Sabha Select Committee citing several reasons for not supporting the Constitution Amendment Bill for rolling out GST in its current form.

The bill is "pitted with compromises, exclusions and exceptions that make it impossible for us to extend our support to the Bill in the absence of the amendments we have proposed being incorporated in the bill...", said the Congress dissent note.

GST report: Oppn files dissent notes

The party demands that the GST rate should be capped at 18 per cent so as "unfair burden" is not imposed on consumers, particularly the poor. The main opposition party is also against power to states to impose 1 per cent additional manufacturing tax. It has given dissent on eight points.

The Committee, headed by Bhupender Yadav (BJP), in the report said the provision of 1 per cent additional tax in its present form is likely to lead to cascading of taxes and has suggested to define the word 'supply'. The report of the 21-member Committee was today tabled in Rajya Sabha.

The Constitution Amendment Bill for the roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been passed by the Lok Sabha. The Upper House had, however referred the bill to the Select Committee for scrutiny.

AIADMK's note said that GST Council as a constitutional body "impinges" on the legislative sovereignty of both Parliament and the States legislatures. "It also completely jeopardises the autonomy of the states in fiscal matters," the note said, adding "we strongly object to the provision for the GST Council".

Like the Congress, AIADMK too wants that the weightage of the vote of the Central government in the GST Council should be reduced to one-fourth of the total votes cast and that of the states increased to three-fourth. The left parties too are in favour of reduction in central government representation the GST Council.

The party also demanded that petroleum and petroleum products should be totally kept outside GST and states should also be empowered to levy higher taxes on tobacco and tobacco products.

The note of Left parties further said the states should have leverage for protecting a particular local brand of MSME product and protecting agri-based products for promoting farmers and industry. "GST should not be in the interest of big corporate houses, who want a free flow of goods and services with the technology promoted and owned by the them," the note added.

The bill has already been passed by Lok Sabha. The ruling BJP-led NAD, however does not enjoy majority of its own in the Upper House. The report has recommended that states should be compensated for five years for revenue loss after GST roll out. This was a major demand of several parties.


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