New Delhi, June 8: With the rollout of biggest tax reform, Goods and Services Tax (GST) coming closer, authorities are on a race against time to conduct outreach programs across the nation. The Union Minister of Finance, Defence Arun Jaitley thanks all the political parties for their cooperation and contribution in making it possible to launch GST with effect from 1st July.
In a letter addressed to the Presidents of the different political parties, the Finance Minister said that with the cooperation of all the political parties, the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act for GST was passed by the Parliament and the same was notified on 8th September, 2016.
The Finance Minister said that three laws viz GST, IGST and UTGST have already been passed by the Union Parliament while the SGST law has been passed by the 25 State Legislatures. Jaitley, further mentioned in his letter to the Presidents of the different political parties that GST Council in which all the States and UTs Governments are represented have met 15 times in the last eight months and have approved all the Draft Laws and Rules and GST rates for all the commodities.
He further said that GST is the most important tax reform since independence and is going to substantially ease doing of business in India which will promote new investment and contribute to the overall GDP growth.
Jaitley said that GST will also help in removing the cascading effect of taxation and will give relief to the common man by leading to reduction in prices especially of essential consumer goods. The Finance Minister also said that in terms of revenue growth, GST will help all the consumption States.
Highlighting the role of Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) in creating mass awareness about the new tax law, he said that it is important for them to understand the finer points of the new tax regime in order to explain the same to the people at large of the country.
GST, the single tax regime, will benefit consumers and attract private investment also replace multiple state and central taxes to create one national market. This bill seeks to subsume all central indirect levies like excise duty, countervailing duty and service tax and also state taxes such as value added tax, entry tax and luxury tax, to create a single, pan-India market.
Notably, Services like religious pilgrimage, healthcare, education, skill development and journalistic activities will remain tax-free under the GST regime. Crude oil, petrol, diesel, aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and natural gas are also being kept out of GST net.