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India's tax 'gamechanger': Rajya Sabha passes GST Bill

Finance minister Arun Jaitley helped push the GST in Rajya Sabha today Photograph: (Reuters)

WION New Delhi, Ajmeri Gate, Delhi, India Apr 06, 2017, 01.41 PM (IST)

India's Upper House Rajya Sabha today approved four bills to pave way for Goods and Service Tax(GST) rollout.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had tabled the bill in Rajya Sabha earlier in the morning. The Modi government hopes to enforce the bill from July 1.

India's finance minister while talking to reporters outside Parliament said the government will give the final approval to the rules and rates on 17-18 May and it should be implemented from 1 July.

The Lower House, Lok Sabha had passed four GST bills -- central GST, integrated GST, the union territory GST, and the GST (compensation to states) bill -- on March 29.

The GST regime, which will replace the existing indirect tax structure in the country, is expected to further boost the business sentiment and aid economic growth.

It will subsume all the existing indirect taxes levied by the Centre and states under one single tax.
The new tax regime will help in making India a single market as it scraps a number of different taxes and uses one tax for goods and services. 

Experts believe the GST Bill is one of the most significant reforms since India opened its economy in the early 1990s. It is widely hailed as the biggest revamp of the tax regime since the country's independence in 1947. 

The GST Bill was first proposed by the former finance minister of India P. Chidambaram during the 2006-07 budget in the UPA government. In fact, during the discussion in the Rajya Sabha today, the finance minister categorically stated that he had no hesitation in stating that "no one person or one govt" can take credit for the bill.

India's former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who headed the UPA government when the bill was first introduced declared after it was passed in the Upper House that "it could be a gamechanger but can't assume there will be no difficulties on the way".

(WION with Agency inputs)

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