New Delhi, Aug 8 : With the Lok Sabha unanimously passing a constitution amendment bill that enables Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday asserted that it was a very important step forward in unifying the indirect tax structures in India.
"Both Houses of Parliament have approved it and what is important that they have done it by a unanimous vote, which shows the larger political consensus on this issue.
It of course now moves to the states and we'll try to request the states to grant the approval expeditiously," Jaitley told the media here outside the Parliament.
Echoing similar sentiments, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi hailed the passage of the bill and asserted that the issue relating to the 18 percent cap of GST rate will be taken up by his party in December.
Gandhi while addressing the media said, "Earlier we had three major differences in regard to the GST. We've worked out the differences. There is one issue which is the 18 percent issue and we feel that it is a very important issue that there is a cap.
Because we are worried about inflation resulting from no cap, we will discuss about it in December. But overall, it is a good step." Last week, the GST Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha with the thumping majority of 203 votes.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) members, however, walked out of the Upper House and abstained from voting After its passage in the Lok Sabha, the Bill will go to the state assemblies for ratification.
The Bill needs to be ratified by half of the assemblies to become a law. After the amendments are carried out, Parliament will pass the GST and Integrated GST Bills and the assemblies will pass state GST Bill for the roll out of the tax reform in the country.
The chief ministers have assured that if required they would call a special session for the passage of the Bill in their state assemblies.
The GST is aimed at bringing uniform tax regime in the country by subsuming state levies. Under it, a single rate of GST will replace various taxes to ensure seamless transfer of goods and services.