New Delhi, Dec 19:
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the constitutional amendment bill for implementing GST contending that the object of the legislation is “the seamless transfer of goods and services across the country”.
The GST proposes a national sales tax that will replace a myriad of overlapping state duties that deter investment.
Emphasising that he wanted the bill to be debated so that suggestions can be taken into account, the finance minister said he had achieved a “near consensus” with the Empowered Committee (EC) of State Finance Ministers on GST in a meeting here.
“This is not a partisan legislation. We will ensure that the interest of every state is taken care of, that no state will lose a rupee of revenue,” Jaitley said.
The previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had in 2011 introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha towards the introduction of the GST. States sought a five-year compensation package and asked for its inclusion in the bill.
Jaitley told the house that the states will receive Rs.11,000 crore this fiscal towards partial compensation of the losses suffered by them for reduction in central sales tax (CST).
While the CST is levied by the Centre on inter-state movement of goods and collected by states, the issue of compensation arose because the central government cut the CST from 4 percent to 2 percent in phases, after state-level VAT was introduced from April 1, 2005.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Wednesday approved the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill paving the way for its tabling. (IANS)