Tuesday deadline for GST Bill objections to house panel

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Opposition members of parliament have been given time till Tuesday afternoon to file their objections on the GST bill to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha which is to present its report to parliament this week, a panel member said on Monday.

D. Raja of the Communist Party of India, one of the 21 members of the committee, said the report had been finalised and the opposition has been given time till 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon to file their reservations on the bill.

“Congress and Left parties have their reservation on some of the points of the report on GST and the Left is preparing its draft on the same,” he said.

The Select Committee is required to submit its report on the last day of the first week of parliament’s monsoon session that begins on Tuesday.

Headed by Bharatiya Janata Party member Bhupendra Yadav, the Rajya Sabha panel met here on Friday to deliberate on the report.

“The report on GST has been finalised. It would be tabled in parliament in a two or day. I can’t comment on it beyond this… may be chairperson of the committee Bhupendra Yadav could say something,” BJP member Chandan Mitra told IANS.

Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed told IANS that the BJP opposed the GST Bill when the UPA tried to bring it in, but now they are posing as its champions.

“We would not accept it even if a single clause of the bill is against the interest of the common man,” he said.

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 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, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, to become a law is a lengthy process.

Being a constitution amendment bill, 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.

–Indo-Asian News service

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