Special Coverage: Constitution Amendment enabling the GST Bill passed in RS

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New Delhi, Aug 3: The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday finally took up discussion on the Goods and Services Tax bill, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moving it for consideration and passage and passed it with concession at the end of the debate.

arun jaitley

Explainer: Why is the GST important?

1. Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a single tax that will replace the current system of multiple taxes levied at multiple points on goods and services as they pass from manufacturer to consumer.

2. The 2014 Bill defines GST as any tax levied on the supply of goods, or services, except taxes on the supply of alcohol for human consumption.

3. Most countries -- reportedly 159 countries -- use a system of single tax levied on the final sale of a good or service to the consumer. GST will be such a system for the first time in India.

4. What's being debated in Parliament on Wednesday is an amendment to the constitution which will allow GST to be brought in.

5. After both Houses of Parliament have passed the amendment, state legislatures have to ratify the same.

6. Then, a Central GST Bill will be brought in, following which a GST Council will be set up to address issues relating to this major tax reform.

7. A GST Network (GSTN) will act as the technology backbone of the system.

8. The GST Council is yet to be set up, but the GSTN is ready and waiting for the new regime to kick in. The Manmohan Singh government had tasked former UIDAI boss Nandan Nilekani with setting it up.

9. The GST will replace the following Central Taxes: Central Excise Duty, Service Tax, Additional Duties of Excise & Customs, Special Additional Duty of Customs, cesses and surcharges on supply of goods and services.

10. The GST will also replace the following State Taxes: VAT, Central Sales Tax, Purchase Tax, Entry Tax, Entertainment Tax, taxes on advertisements, lotteries, betting and gambling, and state cesses and surcharges.

11. GST will thus eliminate multiple taxes, simplify tax administration and increase ease of doing business.

12. With one lower rate -- currently being pegged at 18 percent, but still being debated -- it will lower taxes on goods, and is expected to curb tax evasion.

13. GST will bring down the cost of goods to the consumer, although the cost of services will go up.

14. Many foreign investors have been holding out on India, waiting for GST to kick in.

15. GST is expected to kick in on April 1, 2017.

9.10 pm: Constitution Amendment enabling the GST Bill passed in RS

9.00 pm: Can't give assurance of a financial bill since the constituents of the bill are not known to me: Arun Jaitley

8.55 pm: P Chidambaram again demands that the GST constitutional amendment be brought as finance bills and not money bill.

8.45 pm: Arun Jaitley said GST rate has been kept at affordable level.

8.40 pm: Arun Jaitley replied to Shiv Sena on Entry Tax or OCTROI under GST

8.25 pm: The Centre will pay compensation for states' loss of revenue, they were not ready to trust the government: FM on GST Bill

8.15 pm: GST will become more efficient once it comes into effect: FM

8.11 pm: Centre can veto the states and states can veto the centre: FM on GST Bill.

8.10 pm: Parliament will make a law based on the recommendations of the GST Council: Arun Jaitley

8.06 pm: Finance Minister starts to speak in English after members in Rajya Sabha raise objection to him speaking in Hindi.

8.05 pm: Arun Jaitley starts with his speech after all the parties have made their issues regarding the GST bill.

7.45 pm: We were not opposing GST on political grounds, we wanted #GST but we wanted our concerns to be addressed: Anand Sharma in RS

7.40 pm: Anand Sharma from Congress said that GST is a major decision and it can't be taken while keeping people in the dark.

7.10 pm: Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut on GST Bill says the centre has eaten into Mumbai's revenue to increase its revenue.

7.00 pm: D Raja, CPI, Tamil Nadu while participating in the debate on the GST Bill mentioned that a cap on tax rate will ensure that the indirect taxes are not too high.

6.55 pm: Shiromani Akali Dal's Naresh Gujral: I urge all parties in Rajya Sabha to support the GST bill which he said would help in creating more jobs.

6.50 pm: Shiv Sena's Anil Desai highlighted the loss of revenue to local bodies such as Mumbai Municipal Corporationbecause of GST and he asked the Finance Minister to clarify on compensation directly to such bodies.

6.40 pm: Narendra Budania, Congress, Rajasthan asks that now when BJP is saying that GST will improve GDP of India by 1 to 2% then why didn't the party support it when it was in the opposition.

6.30 pm: TKS Elangovan, DMK talks about huge debt that Tamil Nadu has and asks from Finance Minister that the compensation for first 5 years of revenue loss of states should be 100 per cent and it should be clearly mentioned in the Bill.

6.10 pm: The GST bill simplify and synchronise indirect tax regime. From 5-7 tax laws to 2 will simplify lives of people: BJP's Mahesh Poddar

5.55 pm: Hishey Lachungpa, SDF, Sikkim says that Sikkim will lose revenue on the account of not being able to levy 1% extra surcharge as per the GST Bill. MP hopes that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will address the issue.

5.45 pm: Garikapati Mohan Rao, TDP, Telangana seeks constitutional guarantee and clarity on the mode of payment of Centre's compensation for states' revenue losses for first 5 years.

5.40 pm: Surendra Singh Nagar, Samajwadi Party, UP talks about doubts the party has about GST Bill. He says his party still supports GST.

5.35 pm: Special concession should be for Orissa. We support GST: Biju Janata Dal's Dilip Kumar Tirkey

5.20 pm: Standard rate should be low and clothing, healthcare may go up - Narendra Jadhav in RS

5.15 pm: Dr Narendra Jadhav refers to the #GSTBill as "the single most important economic reform since 1991"

5.12 pm: Must address issue of the poorer states. It is in this spirit that progressive states like Maharashtra support #GSTBill: NCP's Praful Patel

5.10 pm: I urge to bring it (GST) as finance bill and not as money bill, says Praful Patel

5.05 pm: Less than perfect GST is better than no GST - Rajeev Chandrashekhar in RS

5.00 pm: #GSTBill is India's biggest indirect taxes reform, which affects every business big and small: Rajeev Chandrasekhar Rajya Sabha MP

4.50 pm: Both at the central and the state level, the transition towards #GST model will be challenging: Praful Patel, NCP

4.35 pm: BSP's Satish Chandra Misra, who was also party's representative in the select committee on GST, begins his argument.

4.30 pm: Giving the Centre veto power is not right. States should have three quarters of the weightage, says BJD's AU Singh Deo.

4.27 pm: BJD MP AU Singhdeo in Rajya Sabha says, "States should be given powers to levy tax on tobacco products."

CPI(M) Leader Sitaram Yechury speaks on GST Bill

4.25 pm: "When GST Bill comes, make sure that there's flexibility for states."

4.20 pm: "We are a council of states here. We need to protect the rights of state governments. GST rate must be capped, else it will be regressive."

4.18 pm: "GST Bill a radical departure in the way of revenue collection."

4.17 pm: "Article 110 should be followed and GST Bill should not be brought as Money Bill. GST rate of 24-25% will economically cripple the majority of Indians."

4.16 pm: How will govt share the revenue collected? asks Sitaram Yechury on GST Bill.

4.15 pm: "Provinces must be free to adjust rate of sales tax as per their requirements."

4.13 pm: How the government will ensure that tax goes to respective state and within what time frame?, Yechury asks.

4.05 pm: Have fair revenue rate else it may widen gap between two India (i.e. rich and poor), says Sitaram Yechury.

4.01 pm: Sitaram Yechuri rises in the Rajya Sabha for discussion on GST bill.

4.00 pm: AIADMK moves amendments to the GST Bill.

Derek O'Brien speaks on GST Bill

3.54 pm: "Don't let the election results bother you, bring about the GST Bill legislation."

3.53 pm: "We need to debate, legislate and implement #GST for the young India of tomorrow."

3.52 pm: "For the sake of many more Virat Kohlis, we must debate, deliberate and legislate and take the country forward."

3.50 pm: "Govts lost elections in Brazil, UK, Germany & SAfrica after passing GST Bill; there were also countries where they came back to power".

3.46 pm: "I hope in this ping-pong match, the GST Bill implementation is not lost on April Fools' Day. I want to put on record the great job done by Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers."

3.45 pm: We appreciate the fact that the Government reached out to the states and worked with the Finance Ministers, says TMC MP Derek O'Brien in Rajya Sabha on GST Bill.

3.30 pm: After GST Bill, tax evasion and corruption will reduce, says Sharad Yadav.

3.21 pm: India's strength as one of the biggest markets will converge into one marketplace from 29: Bhupendra Yadav BJP MP from Rajasthan on GST Bill.

3.18 pm: Will GST be applied to food products?:Naresh Agrawal of SP on GST Bill

3.17 pm: You are trying to convince people that #GST will bring abt a revolution: SP in #RajyaSabha

3.10 pm: Government's intention is to increase taxes: SP member Naresh Agrawal in Rajya Sabha on GST Bill

3.00 pm: We are unwillingly supporting GST Bill so that people do not think Samajwadi Party is a roadblock in India's economic development: Naresh Agarwal

P Chidambaram on GST Bill

2.48 pm: I, on behalf of my party demand that the standard rate of #GST should not exceed 18%: Former FM P Chidambaram in Rajya Sabha #GST

[How GST consensus was won: Behind the scenes]

2.47 pm: Please now, on basis of your own report -'Cap the tax rate'. We mean it cannot be changed with whim of Executive. Tax rate of this importance must only be changed with the approval of the Parliament: P Chidambaram #GST

2.46 pm: Former Finance minister P. Chidambaram demands an assurance that the Central GST Bill, which is to follow the constitutional amendment that is expected to be passed today in the Rajya Sabha, will be brought in as a Finance Bill, and not as a Money Bill.

2.45 pm: Any indirect tax falls equally on rich & poor. Indirect taxes being regressive in nature,trend is to keep it as low as possible - P Chidambaram

[GST Bill should be passed after serious debate: Chidambaram]

2.44 pm: The heart of the bill is what will the rate of tax be? We must remember that we are dealing with indirect tax. Standard rate must be 18% which will make #GST non-inflationary & acceptable to public: P Chidambaram in Rajya Sabha #GST

2.43 pm: Also the mechanism should also include disputes arising otherwise than out of the recommendations made by GST Council: P Chidambaram in RS

2.42 pm: I would still urge FM to amend a provision to say GST council shall by regulation establish a dispute resolution mechanism: P Chidambaram

2.34 pm: Not a matter between Union Finance Minister and state FMs, it concerns people of the country also: P Chidambaram #GST

2.33 pm: One of issue was how can you, in destination based tax have provision like some states being allowed to impose add. 1 % tax? If you give some states power to impose 1% additional tax, it would have led to multiplicity of taxes: P Chidambaram in RS #GSTBill

2.32 pm: Hope the Finance Minister will pass #GST bill not on strength of numbers but in strength of his arguments. I'm glad FM acknowledged that it was UPA Government that first officially announce Government's intention to bring about #GST: P Chidambaram in RS

2.31 pm: There were too many flaws in the bill, which could be fixed and hence we didn't support the bill. In last 18 months Govt tried to pass #GST without support of principal opposition & I'm glad you also failed. Today, if we pass this #GST bill, it will be on basis of serious discussions, serious debate and negotiations: P Chidambaram

2.30 pm: We tried to pass #GST bill with support of principal opposition party but we failed: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram

2.29 pm: The 2014 bill was opposed, idea wasn't because we felt it was possible to have a more perfect bill: P Chidambaram

2.28 pm: Let me make it clear, Congress was never opposed to the idea of GST: P Chidambaramon GST Bill

2.27 pm: Tone and approach has changed over the last 3-4 weeks and that augers well for this bill: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram

2.26 pm: I welcome friendly and conciliatory tone of Finance Minister's speech - Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in RS

2.25 pm: Former finance minister P. Chidambaram is speaking on GST Bill debate in Rajya Sabha now.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduces GST Bill in RS

2.22 pm: GST will empower states, increase revenue of the states. It would ensure that there is no 'Tax on tax'- FM Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha

2.14 pm: 2/3rd of the voting power in the #GST council belongs to states, 1/3rd belongs to the Centre: FM Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha #GSTBill

2.13 pm: There's been major consensus building that has taken place; thankful to all opposition parties: FM Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha

2.09 pm: GST will enable seamless transfer of goods across the country: FM Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha #GST4India

2.05 pm: GST will convert India into one economic market with one uniform tax rate: FM Arun Jaitley

2.01 pm: GST is one of the most reformative tax reforms: FM Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha #GST4India

2.00 pm: GST Bill has been presented in Rajya Sabha by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

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