Rajya Sabha panel to submit GST Bill report this week

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill is to present its report on the last day of the first week of the monsoon session of parliament beginning on Tuesday.

A source here told IANS that the committee is likely to ask the government to allow states to impose their own taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products as well as compensation for five years to cover their losses due to abolition of local levies owing to implementing GST.

The Select Committee headed by BJP member Bhupendra Yadav met here on Friday to deliberate on the bill.

The union government has set the target to reform India’s indirect tax regime from April next year, and had earlier proposed 100 percent compensation to states for first three years.

The GST is seen as the key to facilitate industrial growth and improve the country’s business climate. By subsuming most indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments, such as excise duty, service tax, VAT and sales tax, the new regime proposes to facilitate a common market across the country, leading to economies of scale and reducing inflation through an efficient supply chain.

The passage of the bill to become a law is a lengthy process.

Being a constitution amendment bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha, it needs to be passed by the Rajya Sabha with a two-thirds majority and then be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before being sent to the President for his assent.

The other major piece of legislation the government intends to take forward is the land bill – the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2015 – which is being considered by a joint committee of both houses.

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