“There is no free flow of goods and services in the country. The objective of the new tax regime was to establish such a system that when goods and services flow across company, taxes are levied at a uniform rate and a single window,” Jaitley said.
Defending multiple rates structure of GST, he said: “Absence of multiple tax slabs will make GST a highly regressive regime. For one commodity there would only be one rate in the country in GST.”
“It is not necessary that two different commodities enjoy the same rate of GST because there can’t be a same rate of tax on sleepers and BMW cars,” he added.
On inclusion of alcohol and petroleum products, Finance Minister said GST Council will take decision on when to bring alcohol and petroleum under GST.
During the debate over the laws, Opposition had alleged government of making GST bill a Money Bill only to override Rajya Sabha, where BJP does not enjoy majority.
Countering the charges, Jaitley asked: “This law seeks to replace the Central Excise law, Service Tax law etc and consolidates them into one. So here is a taxation law that alters the tax regime and replaces existing tax laws then how come it won’t be a money bill.”
Earlier in the day, while introducing four GST bills, Jaitley had said preparations to roll out the new tax regime is nearing completion and the process to classify categories of commodities will start next month.
The bills introduced are the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017 and the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017.