NEW DELHI, March 29 - The historic Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime today came a step closer to meet its July 1 target of rollout, with the Lok Sabha approving four supplementary legislations.
The Central GST Bill, 2017; The Integrated GST Bill, 2017; The GST (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017; and The Union Territory GST Bill, 2017 were passed after negation of a host of amendments moved by the opposition parties.
Replying to the seven-hour-long debate, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the GST, which will usher in a uniform indirect tax regime in the country, will make commodities �slightly cheaper�. He said the GST rates would depend upon whether the commodity is used by a rich person or a common man.
Jaitley said once the new tax regime is implemented, the harassment of businesses by different authorities will end and India will be one rate for one commodity throughout the country.
Jaitley said that the GST Council, comprising finance ministers of Union Territories and states, had agreed to take a decision on bringing real estate within the ambit of the new tax regime within a year of its rollout.
On the impact of GST on prices, Jaitley said: �Today you have tax on tax, you have cascading effect. When all of that is removed, goods will become slightly cheaper.�
On why the Council has decided on multiple GST rates, Jaitley said one rate would be �highly regressive� as �hawai chappal and BMW cannot be taxed at the same rate�.
He said currently food articles are not taxed and those will continue to be zero-rated under the GST. All other commodities would be fitted into the nearest tax bracket. � PTI