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The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 20 March 2017 approved the following four GST related bills -
i. The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The CGST Bill)
ii. The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The IGST Bill)
iii. The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The UTGST Bill)
iv. The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017 (The Compensation Bill)
Features of the bills
• The CGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods and services by the Union Government.
• On the other hand, IGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on inter-state supply of goods or services or both by the Union Government.
• The UTGST Bill makes provisions for levy on collection of tax on intra-UT supply of goods and services in the Union Territories without legislature.
• Union Territory GST is akin to States Goods and Services Tax (SGST), which shall be levied and collected by the States and Union Territories on intra-state supply of goods or services or both.
• The Compensation Bill provides for compensation to the states for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the goods and services tax for a period of five years as per section 18 of the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016.
• All the above four bills were approved by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council after thorough and clause by clause discussion in the last six months.
What is GST Council?
• The Parliament gave its approval to the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016 in September 2016.
• The Act, amended various provisions of the constitution in order to pave the way for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) across the country.
• As per Article 279A (1) of the amended Constitution, the GST Council has to be constituted by the President within 60 days of the commencement of Article 279A.
• Consequently, a notification was issued on 10 September 2016 regarding the formation of the GST Council.
• The Council is the apex body that takes decisions on all important decisions related to the GST, including items and rates.
• The Union Finance Minister is the Chairperson of the council.
• The Union Minister of State, in-charge of the Revenue in the Finance Ministry, and the Minister in-charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government are the members of the council.
• As per the previous decision of the council, the GST will be rolled out on 1 July 2017.