GST bills must be passed in current session: Arun Jaitley

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Finance minister Arun Jaitley has said legislation related to goods and services tax (GST) will have to be passed in the ongoing budget session, pointing out that the Centre and the states would otherwise lose their right to collect indirect taxes after September 15.

Replying to debate on the budget in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Jaitley said four bills supporting the Constitution amendment law on GST enacted last year will be introduced in the Lok Sabha shortly.

The government wants to roll out GST from July 1 this year and would need to get the relevant laws passed in the ongoing budget session to meet the deadline. The session ends on April 12.

The Constitutional Amendment law for GST was notified on September 16, 2016 and it provides for one year to switch over to the new indirect tax regime.

“After September 15 this year, the legal entitlement for collection of taxes will end. So, the alternative system has to come in place before September 15,” Jaitley said.

The government lacks a majority in the Rajya Sabha and therefore will need cooperation from the opposition.

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