GST bill finds passage in RS, ten-year wait ends

Experts warn that the challenge of setting up a new IT system, training up tens of thousands of tax officials and briefing companies on the change could delay the GST launch considerably.

He said since GST is likely to be implemented from the year 2017-18, the central government should compensate on account of CST loss up to 2016-17 financial year.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India was on the cusp of its biggest tax reform since independence ahead of a vote in parliament later Wednesday, August 3, on a new national sales tax.

The GST Bill passed by Rajya Sabha yesterday will have to go to Lok Sabha before it is sent to states for ratification.

Lauding Goods & Services Tax (GST) in Lok Sabha on Thursday, Union Finance Minister suggested that the practices of taxing citizens unnecessarily should be curbed. The GST bill will also have to be approved by 50 per cent of all the state assemblies.

"Prices of some goods and commodities may come down after rolling out of GST", Jaitley said. It´s been a long time coming for the Modi government´s most ambitious reform.

The Government today said that Entertainment Tax (other than the tax levied by the local bodies), Central Sales Tax (levied by the Centre and collected by the States)the following taxes are being subsumed at the state level. This apart, while the Centre will have have to take Parliament's nod again for its version of the GST, states too will need to do the same, which may not be a quick process. He said consultations are on with regard to the threshold limit of imposition of GST. This statement was opposed Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar who said that GST would create more jobs, wider product choice and less corruption.

The rate of taxation has yet to be set, and it remains a contentious issue with several state governments pushing for a higher tax than the 18 percent rate the federal government favors.

In the year 2011, the Constitution (115th Amendment) Bill, 2011 was introduced in Parliament. The bill could not be passed as BJP was opposing it. Now the BJP government brought the bill with certain modifications.

In a series of tweets, Modi congratulated lawmakers on a "path-breaking decision" and said the tax reform will help "take India to new heights of progress".

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