President Pranab Mukherjee approves Constitution Amendment Bill on GST
President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday gave an assent to Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Mukherjee's approval to the bill is considered to be an important step towards rolling out the new indirect tax regime, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to implement from April 1, 2017, PTI reported.
The passage of the bill will pave the way for setting up of a GST council that will decide the tax rate, cess and surcharges, the news agency said.
According to the report, the Parliament had passed the bill on August 8, which was then circulated to state governments seeking it ratification.
A Constitution amendment bill needs to be ratified by the legislative assemblies of at least 50% of the states.
The bill was sent to the President's secretariat after as many as 17 states ratified the bill. Assam was the first state to have ratified the bill.
The other states, which had passed the legislation include Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Haryana, Sikkim, Mizoram, Telangana, Goa, Odisha and Rajasthan.
Revenue Secretary Dr Hasmukh Adhia had recently said that the government is ahead of schedule for implementation of GST.
"...Instead of 30 days kept for this (states' ratification), it is achieved in 23 days," he had said in a tweet on September 1.
Glad to inform that we are ahead of our schedule for implementation of GST so far.Instead of 30 days kept for this it is achieved in 23 days
— Dr Hasmukh Adhia (@adhia03) September 1, 2016
Now, that the bill has got Presidential assent, the government will notify the GST Council, which will decide on the tax rate, the report said.
The GST Council is headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and will comprise of state Finance Ministers.
The states and the Centre are working overtime and talking to stakeholders to draft the Central GST, State GST and Integrated GST laws, which are to be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament, cited the news agency.
GST is a single indirect tax, which will subsume most of the central and state taxes such as value added tax (VAT), excise duty, service tax, central sales tax, among others.
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