Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A day after the upper house of Parliament unanimously passed the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that a very major step forward has been taken in direction of having a uniform tax in the country.
Addressing the press in the national capital, Jaitley said, “The constitutional amendment was pending for a long time, predominantly becuse Rajya Sabha was not able to reach a consensus.”
“Most important thing is that it was passed with unanimity, except for the AIADMK who walked out,” he added.
Meanwhile, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that target date for GST roll out is April 1, 2017.
In what is seen as the most radical indirect tax reform since independence, the legislation was approved by the Upper House with 203 votes in favour and none against, after a seven-hour debate.
The FM said, “We rarely saw a situation where there was a sense of public anxiety over the delay of a Bill.”
“I am sure once GST is rolled out, doing business in India would be easier, would help a large body of traders, business people,” he added.
The 66-year-old Constitution, which gives power to Centre to levy taxes like excise, and empowers states to collect retail sales taxes, was amended though the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill.