Here are the highlights:
Yesterday a very major step forward has been taken in direction of having a uniform tax in the country.
The constitutional amendment was pending for a long time, predominantly because Rajya Sabha was not able to reach a consensus.
The highlight of the passage of the GST Bill was the consensus that was achieved… and all parties passed this in unanimity.
The role of the state govts was very positive… Even manufacturing states felt this would benefit them on multiple accounts.
State governments were overwhelmingly in support of the bill and hence MPs did not have the option of standing against the Bill.
We have been accommodating in our dialogue with various political parties, but without compromising on fundamentals.
Once GST is rolled out, doing business will be easier, will help a large body of traders and citizens.
The additional amendments made by Rajya Sabha will have to be taken up by Lok Sabha.
Our target is to bring up before Parliament in 2017, the specific laws required for implementation of GST.
It will also help the common man because in the long run the tax rate will come down significantly.
Day before yesterday we also reached a consensus and passed the Black money bill…which will soon become a law.
The difference we had on the possible GST rate has narrowed.
I must say in all fairness that despite reservations, the Tamil Nadu government has been represented in all the meetings we have had regarding GST.
The Constitutional provision in Article 110 and Article 117, as to what is a money bill and what is a finance bill is absolutely clear.
The word used in Article 110 is ‘shall be’, that is ‘shall be deemed to be’…. What shall be deemed to be a money bill. So I can’t convert a Constitutional requirement into my own option. That is an option I don’t have.
It is the responsibility of the government of the day that the Centre compensates the losses made by the states to them.
For that to happen the Central government should have adequate amounts to fund both the Centre and the state… which is why the rate is important.
If the cap is unreasonable, this will not work well.
It’s very easy to make demands… there is a big difference between running the government ‘presently’, and running the government ‘in the past’. So, you spend more than you earn cannot be the stance of the government that is currently in power.