Millennium Post

GST set to usher economic integration of India: Govt

Stating that GST will herald an economic integration of India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday slammed the Opposition Congress for stalling the progress of the country by preventing passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill. “The entire country will become one market and it will be an economic integration of India,” Jaitley said launching three social security schemes here.

Without naming the Congress, he slammed those trying to stall the GST Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament saying they were attempting to “stop progress of the country”. They do not have numbers to prevent passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill to subsume all indirect taxes like excise duty and service tax into Goods and Services Tax (GST) and even other Opposition parties are supportive of the new regime, he said.

Those opposed to GST are now deploying newer delaying tactics by questioning extension of Parliament session for conduct of pending legislative business, he said. Stating that GST will benefit states like Maharashtra, he said taxes truckers pay before entering any state or city will be abolished once GST is implemented.

“India becomes one uniform market where there is a seamless transfer of goods and services,” he said, adding states’ share of revenue will go up and economic activity and growth will also improve. 

Jaitley said India has capacity to grow in double digit and not just 7-8 per cent.

The GST Constitution Amendment Bill was approved by the Lok Sabha earlier this week. The Bill is now pending in the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA government does not have a majority. The Constitution Amendment Bill needs to be approved by two-third majority of both Houses of Parliament.

On Friday, the Empowered Committee of state finance ministers on GST reached a consensus on issues related to imports, registration and authorised GST network company to go ahead with preparation of IT platform for GST. 

The two-day meet at Thiruvananthapuram, which ended  on Friday, also agreed to share the cost of GSTN by the states and Centre on 50 per cent basis. The modalities of payment by the states are to 
be decided by the sub-committee proposed to be constituted for this purpose, it was stated. 

Briefing reporters after the meeting here, GST Empowered Committee Chairman K M Mani said the meet have covered the agenda items most effectively.

“We have considered the Report of the Committee on Innovative way of handling Inter State Transactions and GST on Imports. After detailed deliberations, we have approved the report and the recommendations made by the committee,” he said. 
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