Stating that GST is one of the biggest tax reform of all the time and will make India an easier, transparent place to do business, Naushad Forbes, CII President told BTVI that all the credit goes to the government and opposition for working towards GST. “Credit to government, opposition for working towards GST”. Adding that GST can be used as a dynamo of economic growth, Forbes hopes that GST will be implemented by April 2017. He even said, “GST will add 1.5-2% to the annual GDP growth and will ensure benefits from increased efficiency”. The Bill will be tabled in the Upper House of the Parliament today.
The bill, which has already cleared Lok Sabha, is likely to be sent back to the lower house after it gets passed in the Rajya Sabha. This is due to some amendments that the government has agreed to make in the GST Bill to get support of political parties, especially Congress. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, at a meeting with his state counterparts last week, promised to keep the incidence of tax low while safeguarding the revenue of the states. With the government also assuring support to states in terms of compensation for resulting revenue loss, the GST Bill expected to see a smooth passage today.
For the Bill to sail through the RS, two-thirds of its members (among not less than 50% present) should vote in its favour. While the ruling National Democratic Alliance has 72 members, several major non-NDA parties like SP, NCP, Trinamool, JD(U), CPI(M), etc, are inclined to support the Bill along with many independents. As the Congress with 60 members in the 244-member Upper House is set to support the Bill, its passage now looks almost certain.