Goods and Services Tax: Seven hours debate in Lok Sabha today without lunch break

Once these Bills are cleared by Parliament, the states will then take up the State GST Bill in their assemblies

The crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill will be up for discussion and passage in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Touted to be the biggest tax reform since independence, the lower house will discuss the draft bill for seven hours without a lunch break on Wednesday.

Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley had tabled the four GST related bills- the Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST), Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST), Union Territories-GST (UT GST) and GST Compensation Bills in Lok Sabha on Monday.

The CGST Bill made provisions for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods or services, the integrated GST deals in taxation of inter-state movement of goods and services while the Union Territory GST Bill covers taxation in Union Territories.

The compensation bill has been drafted to give a legislative backing to the Centre’s promise to compensate the states for five years for any revenue loss arising out of GST implementation.

Once these Bills are cleared by Parliament, the states will then take up the State GST Bill in their assemblies. S-GST bill has been prepared as a model of the central GST, with each state incorporating state-specific exemptions.

Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the GST bills are based on the principle of shared sovereignty and that the government wants to pass these landmark tax reforms through consensus.

He also briefed the party MPs after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary party meeting today.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the meeting that the Bills are drafted after detailed discussions in the GST council which comprises all states.

The meeting was also told that the new legislations will usher in a one-nation one-tax regime, Government has set a target of first of July for rollout of GST, which will subsume excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies.