The Union Cabinet on 29 July 2015 approved amendments proposed by Rajya Sabha Select Committee on Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014.
The Rajya Sabha Select Committee chaired by Bhupender Yadav in its report submitted on 22 July 2015 suggested that compensation to the states should be made for 5 years instead of up to 5 years for any revenue loss due to introduction of GST.
The Bill also called Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 was passed in Lok Sabha on 5 May 2015.
Recommendations of the Select Committee includes
• Additional tax up to 1%: On this, the committee stated that the provision of 1% additional tax is likely to lead to cascading of taxes. Hence, it recommended that the term, supply be explained to mean all forms of supply made for a consideration.
• Compensation to States: On this, the committee recommended that compensation would be provided to states for a period of five years
• Functions of the GST Council: On this, the committee recommended that the term, bands must be defined to include the range of GST rates, over the floor rate, within which CGST and SGST may be levied on specific goods or services or classes of goods or services
• Dispute Resolution: In this, the Committee stated that the creation of a separate dispute settlement authority would hamper the functioning of the GST Council in general and the legislatures in particular.
• GST Rates of Banking Services: On this, the committee recommended that the GST rate for the banking industry should be minimum, to ensure international competitiveness. If possible, banking services could be outside the purview of GST.
• GST Network (GSTN): The committee noted that the non government shareholding in GSTN is dominated by private banks, and this is not desirable. It recommended that the non government institution shareholding be limited to public sector banks and financial institutions.
Other Cabinet decisions
The cabinet approved a comprehensive anti-hijack bill that provides for death penalty for hijackers even in the event of on-ground staff casualties.
It also approved a new Consumer Protection Bill that seeks to replace a 29-year-old law and proposes to set up a regulatory authority which will have powers to recall products and initiate class suit against defaulting companies, including e-tailers.
The Cabinet also gave its nod for creation of 20000-crore rupees National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) for development of infrastructure projects. It also gave its approval to foreign investment in the Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) for facilitating domestic investment.
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When: 29 July 2015