President Pranab Mukherjee Gives Assent to the GST Bill

The GST is a single indirect tax which will subsume most of the central and state taxes.

1 min read
President Pranab Mukherjee gives a go ahead to the GST Bill. (Photo: Reuters)

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thurday gave assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST), a major step towards rolling out the new indirect tax regime which the Modi government wants to put into effect from 1 April next year.

The 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, additional customs duty and special additional duty of customs. The Parliament had on 8 August passed the bill which was then circulated to state governments seeking its ratification.

The states which have 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 Hasmukh Adhia had recently said that the government is ahead of schedule for implementation of GST.

Now that the bill has got Presidential assent, the government will notify the GST Council, which will decide on the tax rate. Headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the Council will comprise 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. The CGST and IGST will be drafted on the basis of the model GST law. The states will draft their respective State GST (SGST) laws with minor variation incorporating state-based exemptions. The IGST law would deal with inter-state movement of goods and services

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