New Delhi: Hoping “good sense” will prevail among opposition parties, including Congress, Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti on Thursday said that any obstruction to the passage of the GST Bill will stall the country’s development.
The Goods and Services Tax bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. However, there are doubts over its passage in the Upper House where the ruling BJP-led NDA government lacks majority.
“If opposition obstructs the bill, I believe this would be a big obstacle in the country’s development… Let good sense prevail, let the bill gets passed in Rajya Sabha also,” the Minister of State for Food Processing said at an Assocham event on warehousing.
It is a major tax reform and will lead to single nationwide sales tax, she said, adding that passage of GST bill will also help in the development of warehousing sector in the country.
As per the Assocham report on warehousing, which the minister unveiled at the event, “GST will change things, there will be consolidation of warehouses and factories. Companies will no longer pay central sales tax (CST) which will result in savings on the logistics cost.”
GST will ensure abolition of CST thereby making the country a single market that will no longer be divided by state boundaries. This will eliminate the need to have warehouses in each state to avoid CST, it said.
The move is also likely to reduce the number of warehouses and encourage companies to focus on building fewer, larger and more strategically located warehouses, it added.
Currently, the warehousing sector is highly fragmented with small players holding small units across states and are facing many challenges like untrained manpower, lack of quality testing facilities, loading and unloading facilities and limited technology penetration, the report said.
The GST, the biggest indirect tax reform since 1947 which is expected to boost manufacturing, will replace central taxes like excise duty and service tax and state levies such as sales, value-added, entertainment and purchase taxes. All entry taxes like octroi will also be subsumed under GST.
All goods and services, except alcohol, will be covered by GST. Petroleum products will come under GST but the decision over when to start levying the new tax has been left to the GST Council to decide.
The Minister also pitched for merging of three ministries — agriculture, food processing and rural development — for better coordination and implementation of various programmes.
“I believe these three ministries are inter-related. I am going to write a letter on this issue to the Prime Minister,” she said, added that merging of three ministries will help ensuring better income to farmers and check food inflation.