Rejecting speculations of rise in prices of goods and commodities after the roll out of the GST, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the tax rates will be kept at the current levels so as not to have any inflationary impact.
Introducing four bills to give effect to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Lok Sabha, Jaitley said the legislations will have to be passed by Parliament and one by each of the state assemblies to turn India into one market with a single tax rate. Amid applaud, all four bills related to GST passed in Lok Sabha.
Later, the Congress on Wednesday launched scathing attack on the ruling BJP and said India lost a whopping Rs 12 lakh crore due to years of delay in implementation of the GST due to the stiff opposition by the BJP when the UPA government was in power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several senior members of the Union Cabinet were present in the House when the four bills were taken up for consideration and passage.
Also Read | GST debate: Good and Services Tax rollout will not bring about spike in goods, commodities prices: Arun Jaitley
The bills are the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017 and the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017.
Explaining the bills, Jaitley said the Central GST or CGST will give powers to the Centre to levy tax after levies of excise, service tax and additional customs duty is subsumed. The Integrated GST or IGST will be a tax to be levied by the Centre on inter-state movement of goods and services.
The States will pass the State GST or SGST law that will allow them to levy sales tax after levies like VAT are subsumed.
Also Read | GST: Timeline of Goods and Service Tax bill, India's landmark tax reform
Who said what during debate | Highlights
Video: Jaitley's speech in Lok Sabha
WATCH: FM Arun Jaitley speaking on GST bill in Lok Sabha https://t.co/b7rnBPkGKn— ANI (@ANI_news) March 29, 2017
Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister
"Can’t tax hawai chappals and BMWs and baby food at the same rate."
"GST Council is the first federal decision making authority in India."
"Goods will become slightly cheaper after multiplicity of taxes is removed."
"Constitution makes it clear that rates will be recommended by GST council."
"GST Bills taken up for consideration today will provide enabling laws for GST."
"Every tax must be backed by law, in accordance with Article 269."
"There are multiple indirect taxes under Indian taxation system today. GST to have significant impact on taxation methodology of India."
"There is no free flow of goods and services in the country."
"Object of GST was to have one tax & each assessee with one assessing officer."
"Centre and State have pooled their power into one tax for the betterment of the country."
"Expert committee has been appointed for free flow of goods & services."
Congress leader Veerappa Moily
"What the NDA government has brought about in the name of a revolutionary tax reform is not a game changer but only a baby step".
"Various provisions in the proposed GST regime will be a technological nightmare and the anti-profiteering provisions in it are far too draconian."
"Seven to eight years have passed after the erstwhile UPA government wanted to bring the GST bill. Some parties then felt it should be halted due to reasons best known to them."
"Due to the delay caused in the roll out of GST, the country lost around Rs 1.5 lakh crore annually and put the total loss at Rs 12 lakh crore."
"Who will compensate for this huge loss?"
"The country was deprived of massive financial benefits due to the damaging political gambles."
"Too many taxes under the proposed GST system do not reflect the original spirit behind the new tax regime."
"The one nation, one tax concept is only a myth. There are too many rates, cesses."
"Many Complexities in the inter-state transactions proposed under the GST."
"Very unfortunate that the Real Estate sector was not brought under the ambit of GST,"
"There will be a turf war between the tax administrations of central and state governments after the implementation of the GST."
"There will be "complete anarchy" in taxation."
"Intention may be good but this will land the country in complete tax distortion."
Also Read | What is GST Bill? All about Goods and Services Tax, India's biggest tax reform since 1947
BJP member Udit Raj
"The GST would bring about uniformity in the tax system and be immensely beneficial to the 1.2 billion people of the country."
"The GST Bill has been brought to end the different tax slabs prevalent in different states besides abolishing the cascading effects of the current tax structure."
"Under the GST, there will be same tax structure across the country, all anomalies will come to an end and extend the tax base."
"The legislation was prepared only with the consent of all state governments."
"The Centre will not dictate the GST Council but will act as buffer between the central and state governments."
"GST implementation will automatically encourage digitisation, bring in transparency and lower the prices and the hoarding of essential commodities, besides curbing blackmoney."
"The GST is a game changer. It will lead to a corruption-free India."
AIADMK member Venkatesh Babu
"The GST is the biggest tax reform initiative post independence,"
"There were many challenges in its proper implementation."
"Tamil Nadu, being one of the manufacturing states, had initially opposed the GST Bill but it was happy that some of the concerns of the state were addressed."
"There will be huge revenue loss to manufacturing states like Tamil Nadu. Some of our concerns were addressed while some are yet to be addressed."
"Through the GST Council, the central government will get 'veto power' and sought proper representation and powers to all states in it."
"There will be an increase in the prices of some goods like fertiliser, which is now sold at a tax slab of 17 per cent (12 per cent excise duty and 5 per cent VAT), but the tax in fertiliser will go upto 25 per cent post GST implementation."
"The Tamil Nadu government is fully committed for successful implementation of GST".
Trinamool Congress member Kalyan Banerjee
"The West Bengal government led by Mamata Banerjee has in-principle supported the "path-breaking" GST legislation but expressed concern over the government's hurry in its implementation."
"It was West Bengal which always fought for cooperative federalism and fiscal autonomy and the rights of common people and small traders."
"The GST will bring a single tax structure for the common people and small traders and it was West Bengal which ensured that no state government suffers financially due to the implementation of GST."
"The purpose of GST is to end multiplicity of taxes and its cascading effects and all benefits should be passed on to the common people."
"The government should look into the GST models of other nations so that the legislation is implemented properly. Otherwise, the initiative may fail."
"Government should not to rush with the GST bills and have a re-look at its defects."
"Still there are lacuna and errors and necessary amendments should be brought."
"No one should take credit for this law. Humne kiya hai nahin, sabne kiya hai, ye baat bolna hoga (don't say we have done this. Everybody has done this."
Biju Janata Dal member Bhartruhari Mahtab
"Everybody was saying that the GST law will be a game-changer but "we (BJD) believe that it will be illusionary to expect too much from it".
"There is a view that this law will make a common market, there will be no entry tax at borders, invoicing will be simpler and lot of other benefits, but "I will remind again that do not expect too much from the GST."
"Claims that consumers will benefit is also illusionary."
"Everybody is asking whether the prices will come down or not."
"We have a competition law in the country. Why is the anti-profiteering clause in the bill? I fail to understand this. This is a retrograde step."
"The other concern is about requirement of multiple registration of service providers as it will increase the compliance cost. This is not in the spirit of ease of doing business."
"You are bringing agriculturists to the tax net. Agriculture is being taxed. Can we deny it?"
"Four states were against this but their suggestions were not accepted by the GST Council."
"Share cropping is now going to be taxed by this bill. Widening the tax net is one thing" and bringing some people into it is different and it is highly objectionable."
"Are you going to bring dairy farming and poultry under GST and widen the tax net."
Shiv Sena leader Anandrao
"High tax will increase the burden of consumers and this needs to be looked into."
"What is the reason of not bringing consumable alcohol under the GST ambit."
"The GST will benefit the consuming states, but add to the agony of other states, including Andhra Pradesh."
"We are going to loose Rs 2,000 crore. Andhra Pradesh is loosing because there is a reduction in duty."
"The Centre must look at the pathetic fiscal condition of Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation of the state and compensate it accordingly."
"Under taxation, there should not be any discrimination regarding chit fund companies and added that the GST would bring smile to some sectors but agony to some others."
TRS leader Konda Vishweshwar Reddy
"GST Bill is "khatta (sour), meetha (sweet) and kadwa (bitter) in taste."
"GST Bill is ushering in a new era, it is sweet. The tax compliant hospitals and builders may have a competitive disadvantage which "can be kadwa (bitter)."
"It is simply inserted and it gives way for harassment and it could be potentially kadwa and this goes against the Prime Minister's maximum governance, minimum government."
"The bills have only four tax slabs and asked "so will it fit all the commodities? Absolutely not."
"Not all states were growing at 14 per cent, but a state like Telengana is growing at 16 per cent."
CPM leader Mohammed Salim (CPI-M)
"Are we replacing Parliament with the GST Council?"
"The government was claiming to bring far reaching changes "but are we not outsourcing the law- making process? Are we making the GST Council a clone of Parliament."
"In the name of widening the tax net, the government wants to bring agriculture in that net."
(With inputs from PTI)
As it happened | FM Arun Jaitley tables GST Bill in Lok Sabha, says it will benefit all; Congress terms it 'draconian'
Video: Jaitley introduces 4 GST Bills in Lok sabha