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Indirect tax reform closer as constitutional amendment bill passes the Upper House
The much-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) is closer to becoming a reality as the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 (the Bill) has received its unanimous nod from the Upper House of the Parliament. Taxand India investigates further.
The Bill paves the way for a uniform tax regime in the country and will replace most of the current Central and State indirect tax levies.
The process began its journey almost 7 years ago in the year 2009 with the discussion paper on GST being issued by the Empowered Committee. The Constitution (115th Amendment) Bill, 2011 was initially tabled in the Lower House in 2011 but that bill lapsed.
A revised bill was then tabled and passed by the Lower House in May 2015.
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With the critical Parliamentary process of amending the Constitution nearing a closure, the industry would now closely watch developments around building of consensus between Centre and States on various implementation issues including the GST rate. The industry would now expect to be provided sufficient time for engaging with the law makers to address various industry specific issues. The timeline for implementation of GST, which as of now is expected to be 1 April 2017, would also be keenly watched.