With a smooth and successful progress of the Goods and Services Tax bill in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, the Bhartiya Janata party has issued a three-line whip to all parliament members in Lok Sabha. The Constitution Amendment Bill is likely to be tabled in the lower house on August 8. With the one per cent addition tax scrapped, the bill was approved by a prodigious majority in Rajya Sabha. The much-awaited tax reform was voted by all major political parties, except the AIADMK that staged a walkout. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had earlier said that the finance ministry expects nearly half of the states to approve the bill.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier mentioned that the government is working on an optimal rate of taxation. Even though the opposition is demanding an interest rate cap of 18 per cent, the final discretion will be of the GST council. Paving the way for the popularly referred concept of ‘one nation, one tax’, the biggest indirect tax reform in India is expected to incorporate various service tax, excise duty, octroi etc within one tax regime. In an attempt to lower the tax burden from the shoulders of the common man and avert the double taxation issue in India, the Goods and Services tax is expected to be levied on production instead of consumption. Expressing gratitude to all the leaders who voted for the bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that such legislation cannot be undertaken with a partisan approach.