Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 17 March said it is not viable to aceept the demand of Congress to cap Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate in the Constitution Amendment Bill, but hoped that the bill would get approval of the House soon.
All political parties voted in GST’s favour in the Lok Sabha, ewxceot for Congress. The Congress also made a statement that it has a problem with the Constitutional cap, because our tariff is not decided through Constitutional amendment.”
The GST Bill has been passed in the Lower House and is pending in the Upper House, where the ruling NDA doesn’t have a majority. After passage in the Upper House, the bill has to be approved by half of the 29 states to roll out GST by October 1.
It may be noted that the constitutional amendment to GST seeks to replace a slew of central and state levies, transforming the nation into a customs union.
Jaitley said it is difficult to accept (the Congress demand) for, every the tariff is increased, it has to be done through a Constitutional amendment and not by GST Council.
“That is the only glitch. I would want the Congress party to come on board. The numbers are changing and in any case, I am confident that numbers in the Upper House are in favour of GST.”
The Bill is supported by all parties, except the Congress, which has 67 MPs in the Rajya Sabha and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has 12 members.