Five legislations will soon be introduced in Parliament with the objective of rolling out the comprehensive indirect tax reform GST from 1 July, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
“The Government will bring before Parliament four GST legislations and there will be a fifth legislation as Excise and Customs Acts will have to be amended. We will bring these legislations together to Parliament in the next few days,” he said replying to a debate on the Finance Bill.
Read All About GST from Beginning
The Union Cabinet this week cleared four supplementary Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislations which will be introduced in Parliament in the ongoing budget session.
Appreciating the fact that all decisions relating to the model GST laws were taken by consensus at the GST Council, Jaitley said not a single decision has been taken by voting.
GST Council, the apex decision making body for GST, has representation from the central government as well as all the state governments.
So far 12 meetings of GST Council has taken place and many contentious issues were cleared by consensus, he said.
“First time a council was formed and it was the first time in federal politics and this is India’s first federal institution where collective decision making takes place. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guidance was that effort should be made that we should not decide on issues based on voting,” he said.
He said decisions at the Council were taken democratically and “it was a deliberative democracy and federalism in action that all decisions have been taken with consensus.”
Citing example of “participative democracy”, he said, Tamil Nadu was the only state which had reservations but it played very active role in framing of model GST laws.
“(Mallikarjun) Khargeji your state Karnataka also played a very active role,” Jaitley added.
Karnataka is ruled by Congress while Tamil Nadu has government run by AIADMK.
As per the Constitution Amendment, GST has to be rolled out by 15 September but GST Council is of the view that it should be implemented from 1 July, he said.
First Post, 23 March 2017