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Jaitley bats for GST
Jun '16
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that Goods and Services Tax (GST) will convert India into one common market, prevent tax-on-tax and make goods and services cheaper.

He also hoped the main opposition Congress will come on board to help in the passage of the India's biggest indirect tax reform bill since independence in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament and said failing which the government will have no option but to seek for a Parliamentary vote.

"The idea behind the GST is to make India into a one common market to have a seamless transfer of goods and services, to prevent tax-on-tax, make goods and services cheaper and therefore provide to any person very large markets that is one-sixth of world population,"" he said at a conference organized by Institute for International Economic Studies in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The GST Bill has already been approved by the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha where the government doesn't have a majority.

Jaitley said he was trying to persuade the Congress party to support the legislation, which originally was introduced by the same party in 2006.

"This was proposed by the previous government. We have accepted it. It has been passed by the Lower House (and now) it requires to be cleared by a two-third majority in Upper House. Almost every political party in principle says it supports the GST," he said.

Without naming Congress, he said the party which was in power earlier and had moved the GST bill now wants to bring some changes to the legislation.

The Congress wants the rate of the goods and services tax capped at 18 per cent, the proposed 1 per cent additional levy on inter-state trade be removed and an independent dispute resolution mechanism for states set up.

"One particular change I am willing to accept. (In) others there is some difficulty," he said referring to the demand for removal of 1 per cent additional levy.

"I have been discussing with them and trying to persuade them to accept this idea. I am reasonably hopeful that it will be passed in monsoon session and if they come on board, my preference is to do it with consensus but if that is not possible then I have no option but to seek for a Parliamentary vote," Jaitley added.(SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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