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GST Bill Approved by the Rajya Sabha

With the Passage of the GST bill, the Goods and Services Tax era is almost here!

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill has finally been approved by the upper house of parliament by a unanimous vote. This comes little over a year after the lower house of parliament, the lok sabha, had already approved the Bill.

The GST Bill is a constitutional amendment bill enables the introduction of a uniform GST regime across India.

Highlights of the bill

Scope and levy

GST shall apply on both goods as well as services. All goods and services shall be covered under the the regime with the notable exception of alcohol ( for human consumption)        and fuels such as Gasoline, Diesel and aviation fuel. Both the center and the states will have power to make laws on the taxation of goods and services under the GST bill.

The GST Council

Among other things, The GST Bill also enables the setting up of the GST council. The Council will administer the key provisions of the GST regime by recommending rates of tax, levy of additional tax, principles of supply, special provisions to states etc. The GST Council will include the following members :

  • Finance Ministers from all the states
  • The Union Minister of State for Revenue and,
  • The Finance Minister of India

The GST bill also provides for compensation to be provided to states for a maximum period of five years. This period will be based on the recommendation of the GST council.

What Next?

To become a law the constitutional amendment has to be ratified by at least 15 states in India. Thereafter, the GST council shall be constituted which shall propose the finer details that will govern this landmark change in Indian taxation. The passage of the GST bill has ushered in a new era that business and professionals alike will have to start gearing up for.

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