India GST Bill: The Wait is Not Over Yet

There has been a certain phrase which many of us have seen doing the round of various major news channels, papers and more, and that is the Goods and Services Tax a.k.a. GST bill. Now, before we begin, let us understand what exactly GST Bill is proposing to do.

According to this bill, the current government will be collating almost all the various and diverse kinds of central indirect taxes that we have currently, that is, excise duty, countervailing duty and service tax, and also state levies like Value Added Tax, entry tax and luxury tax, and instead combine them all to create a single, pan-India market.

Source Credits: Google Images
Source Credits: Google Images

The news came out that this Wednesday, after a lengthy debate stretching over 7 hours, the Rajya Sabha finally passed the GST bill which will officially start the process of levying a universal indirect tax. This bill has been trending for quite a while now, and for good reason, as the fact that we won’t have to pay a bucket load of taxes every time we make any kind of expenditure will be an immense relief to the common citizen.

However, you should refrain from starting any kind of celebrations just yet. Remember, this is the government, and and it will be some time before the bill actually becomes a reality.

Let me lay out the entire journey that this bill will take, before being inducted in the law:

  • First the Rajya Sabha has to pass the bill. Thankfully, we can cross it off of our list.
  • Then, it will be sent for presidential reference.
  • Subsequent to that, the Bill will be transmitted to the Lok Sabha (possibly on Thursday), which also needs to approve the amendments by two-thirds majority.
  • The President will then refer it to the state assemblies.
  • At least half the state assemblies, that is 15, would need to ratify the Bill by two-thirds majority
  • It will then go for presidential assent before being notified in the gazette.
  • After all these procedures, Parliament would take up the actual GST Bill (possibly in the winter session).
  • Assurances that Left and regional parties would seek from government.
  • The actual GST Bill should take care of concerns about state governments being allowed to raise revenue in emergency situations.
  • The subsequent GST Bill should not be categorised as Money Bill, bypassing Rajya Sabha.

We hope to see the implementation happen sooner than later and the results too will roll in accordingly.

Image Credits: NDTV

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