New Delhi: The unpleasant and the gruelling deadlock over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill seems to have finally ended as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday announced that virtually all of the states had agreed on the GST, except for Tamil Nadu.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had stated that although she was opposed to the BJP government, she did not want to oppose the pro-people bill.
Why Tamil Nadu did not agree on the GST?
When it came to Tamil Nadu, the Finance Minister said that the southern state had some reservations concerning the GST bill. Though Jaitley did not specifically mention what it was, he said that Tamil Nadu's suggestion had been submitted to the GST committee and the Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers on GST for further evaluation.
When will the GST bill be passed?
Arun Jaitley said that albeit there was no deadline for the bill, it is expected to be taken up by the parliament in the monsoon session of the Rajya Sabha.
Congress's demand has been quashed
Congress party's demand for a Constitutional cap on the GST rate – which is at 18 percent – has been quashed by Jaitley who said that there was consensus on not putting a cap on the GST rate.
The Finance Minister claimed that if there are any losses in revenue of a particular state following the passing of the bill, that loss will be compensated for a period of five years which will be facilitated by a Constitutional Amendment.
Flexible on the 1% additional tax
The implementation of 1% additional tax on the bill for the first 3 years still remains a contentious dispute, but Jaitley has said that he is flexible with the issue.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is attending a two-day meeting of the committee on Goods and Services Tax (GST) consisting of the Finance Ministers of all the states in Kolkata.
If a broader consensus on the GST bill is reached before the procession of the monsoon assembly session, it could entail for a historic passage of one of the most contentious bill in recent years.