President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday gave his assent to the landmark Goods and Services Tax bill, a major step towards rolling out the new indirect tax regime which the Modi government wants to come into effect from April 1 next year. The President has given his approval for the GST Bill, the President’s Office said.
The central government had sent the GST bill to the President after 16 states had ratified the legislation. The bill was passed unanimously by the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha in August.
The GST is a single indirect tax which will subsume most of the central and state taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT), excise duty, service tax, central sales tax, additional customs duty and special additional duty of customs.
After the Presidential assent, the government will notify the GST Council. Union Finance Minister will head the Council, which will comprise state Finance Ministers.
The GST Council will decide on the tax rate, cess and surcharges which are to be subsumed and also decide on the goods and services which would be exempted from the purview of the new indirect tax regime.
The states and the Centre are working overtime and talking to stakeholders to draft the Central GST, State GST and Integrated GST laws, which are to be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament in November.
The CGST and IGST will be drafted on the basis of the model GST law. The states will draft their respective State GST (SGST) laws with minor variation incorporating state-based exemption. The IGST law would deal with inter-state movement of goods and services.
(With inputs from agencies)