The government on Tuesday tabled the much-awaited Good And Services Tax Bill for passage in the Rajya Sabha, which had to be adjourned until Wednesday following protest from the opposition leaders demanding the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan, in the Lalit Modi and Vyapam scams. The BJP is in a minority in the Upper House.
Here are ten things you must know about the legislation:
1. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-second Amendment) Bill, 2014, incorporating recommendations made by a House Select Committee.
2. Shortly after the first round of votes was conducted on the much-hyped Bill, the opposition members stormed into the Well of the House, forcing its adjournment.
3. The Goods and Services Tax (GST), that seeks to replace all indirect taxes, with a uniform levy has already been approved by the Lok Sabha and was in the last session referred to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee.
4. The panel has given its report endorsing majority of the provisions, while suggesting changes in compensation to states and definition of supply for the purpose of states levying additional one per cent tax. Also Read: Dawood Ibrahim ‘offer to return’ in 2013 was ‘too hot’ for Congress
5. Speaking on Karan Thapar’s To The Point programme on India Today TV, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the GST is not being deliberated in Parliament because “the Congress does not want it to happen despite being the architect of the bill”. “We have tried to build a political consensus… There were reservations of states which we have tried to address,” Rudy said.
6. The government has two more days to pass the GST Bill. The current monsoon session of Parliament ends on August 13.
7. Indirect tax reform GST proposes to create an uniform tax rate across the country by subsuming excise, service tax and other local levies. GST can boost India’s GDP by 1-2 per cent.
8. Opposition Congress has repeatedly disrupted proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, preventing the House from taking up the Bill for passage.
9. The report of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee was tabled in Parliament last month. The Committee had suggested to compensate the states fully for five years for any revenue loss for GST roll out.
10. However, the Congress, the AIADMK and the Left parties had submitted dissent notes on the same.