NEW DELHI, Aug 3 - The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday unanimously passed the relevant Constitution amendment Bill to pave the way for the introduction of a pan-India Goods and Services Tax regime.
The Upper House passed what is called the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, with 203 ayes in the final vote.
Earlier, main opposition Congress and most other parties, except AIADMK, today expressed support, with certain conditions, to the introduction of GST in the country as the Rajya Sabha took up the much-delayed Bill to amend the Constitution for allowing the measure.
Moving the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 amid thumping of desks by the entire House, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it was one of the most significant tax reforms in India in recent history that has been brought after a �broad consensus� with various political parties.
The Bill was supported by Congress and most of the other parties like Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and Trinamool Congress. AIADMK, however, opposed the move.
�I am sure the enactment of GST will bring about the best economic management in its federal form,� Jaitley said while commending the Bill for consideration.
He said legislation was being enacted in the best possible way in the Indian federalism.
He said there was a need for a political consensus as far as possible to bring this Bill and a process of dialogue with all major political parties and states was undertaken and the �best possible output was incorporated in the Bill.�
�A legislation of this kind cannot be made on the basis of a partisan approach. It impacts on the Centre and states and we have systematically worked towards a political consensus. There is as far a consensus as possible if not unanimity as far as language and contents of the bill are concerned,� the minister said.
Jaitley said, �the merits of the system are that it will convert India into one economic market and will introduce a uniform tax across the country, check evasion of tax. This would also give a boost as far as growth rate is concerned.�
Speaking on behalf of the Congress, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said his party supports the �idea� of GST as well as the Bill, which he noted had been improved after the government held talks with various parties, including his. � Agencies