Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed four GST Bills, ensuring merger of the new taxation policy smoothly to make India a unified market latest by July 1. Earlier in the day, Lok Sabha had passed a bill that sought to include warehouse as one of the custom areas so that the importers are not made to pay the IGST during the removal of goods from a custom station to warehouse. The GST Council is headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and consists of finance ministers from all states. There will be cap rate of 40 per cent, Jaitley said.
He said the harsh provisions related to the recovery of tax should not be implemented during the transition phase of the GST.
He also questioned whether the "delivery" would be effective under the new regime since adequate infrastructure is not in place. "Some relaxation will be given in compliance", he added.
The Goods and Services Tax bills was on Thursday passed in the Rajya Sabha.
The GST Council will also take decisions regarding inclusion of petroleum products and alcohol in the GST network, one by one, in the foreseeable future. Further, the GST will pull down India's gross domestic product (GDP), by up to 2%. The Congress wanted parliament to have a final say on the recommendations of the GST council and not notify taxes by an executive order leaving parliament out of its purview.
In the backdrop of a reconciliatory mood, Rajya Sabha members showed consensus that the new indirect tax is the biggest reform since Independence and is the need of the hour. He said, besides making any information public, will have penal consequences.
The balance 51 per cent equity is with non-government financial institutions - HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd.
LIC Finance holds 11 per cent stake in GSTN, according to the Registrar of Companies (RoC) filings, obtained by IANS from business research platform Tofler.
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Both houses of parliament saw fewer adjournments than the last few sessions, and more constructive debate.
He hoped that the "bipartisan cooperation" extended by the Congress and the "consensus" displayed on the GST would "become a norm and not be an exception".
The GST Bill was first proposed by the former finance minister of India P. Chidambaram during the 2006-07 budget in the UPA government.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury had discussed the issue with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday but the latter had been non-committal.
He said the GSTN has been designed in such a manner that it can not be audited by CAG and RTI too does not apply to it.
The four GST-related bills were passed after amendments moved by Trinamool Congress MP Derek O' Brien and CPI-M leader Tapan Sen were vetoed after division.
"Yesterday the former prime minister [Singh] advised me not the move the amendment because it will be disturb the fine consensus that has been arrived in the GST Council".