Though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is for an early roll out of the Goods and Services tax (GST), the shift to new tax regime is still a long way ahead. Passing the Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha is a breakthrough, but more procedures including legislative steps are needed for the GST to come into effect.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill, passed previously by the Lok Sabha, was cleared by the Rajya Sabha on July 3 but with a few amendments. These changes have to be approved by the Lok Sabha. So the Bill will once again go to the Lok Sabha.
More than half the states (15/29) of India have to pass the Constitution Amendment Bill with two-thirds majority. The Amendment Bill will be part of the Constitution after getting Presidential assent.
This enactment process will be soon followed by the establishment of GST Council formed with Central finance minister and representatives from the states. Fixing tax rates on various goods and services is the primary role of the GST Council. This will be done by a process of negotiation led by the Union Finance ministry with the empowered committee of the state finance ministers and GST council.
Meanwhile, the Parliament has to enact laws on Central GST and Integrated GST and respective state assemblies have to pass separate State GST legislations. Following this a national level Central GST and a state level GST will come into effect. But Jammu and Kashmir is still left out. GST will be applicable in Jammu and Kashmir only if the state assembly passes a separate legislation.