As the crucial Goods and Services Tax bills is slated to be taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, the ruling BJP and principal opposition Congress have issued a whip to its MPs to be present in the Upper House for the next two days.
The four supplementary Goods and Services Tax legislations — Central GST Bill, the Integrated GST Bill, the GST (Compensation to States) Bill and the Union Territory GST Bill — were passed last week by the Lok Sabha.
Both the Congress and Trinamool Congress are likely to move amendments in the upper house. But the government is keen to rollout the new indirect tax regime from July 1.
The Congress party, along with some other opposition parties had long protested the GST bill and some of its earlier draft provisions. The differences, however, were iron out in a GST council post which the legislation was brought in the Parliament.
Touted as the biggest taxation reform since Independence, GST will subsume central excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies to create a uniform market. GST is expected to boost GDP growth by about 2 per cent and check tax evasion.
The GST Council has recommended a four-tier tax structure – 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. On top of the highest slab, a cess will be imposed on luxury and demerit goods to compensate the states for revenue loss in the first five years of GST implementation.
However, the Central GST (CGST) law has pegged the peak rate at 20 per cent and a similar rate has been prescribed in the State GST (SGST) law, which takes the peak rate to 40 per cent which will come into force only in financial exigencies.
(With inputs from Agencies)