India: Lok Sabha passes all four GST bills

The bills include the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, and three allied bills. Photograph:( Reuters )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 29, 2017, 07.10 AM (IST)

The Lok Sabha today passed all four GST bills to give effect to the Goods and Services Tax. 

Earlier this morning, finance minister Arun Jaitley opened the GST debate in the Lok Sabha. The bills included the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, and three allied bills.   

Opposition Congress was unhappy with the GST Bill alleging that the manner in which the bill was brought in the Lok Sabha abrogates Parliamentary sovereignty on taxation matters and termed it as "a big assault" on the federal structure.

Speaking in Parliament, Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said, "It is a historic day where Parliament's sovereignty has been removed insofar as taxation is concerned and they have no power to abrogate. This is again a big assault on the federal structure of the Constitution of India."

The government intends to roll out GST on July 1.

PM Modi immediately tweeted hailing the passage of the bill saying,"greetings to all fellow countrymen, new year, new laws, new India!"

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Since these are "money" bills, the Rajya Sabha will not vote on them. But they can suggest changes, which will then be sent back to the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha may or may not accept the changes. 

The government hopes this will boost economic growth by as much as 1 to 2 per cent.  

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India's lower house of Parliament passed the GST bills with aid of finance minister Arun Jaitley (WION)

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(WION)