Lok Sabha passes GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill

Amid uproar and noisy protests by the Congress-led Opposition, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States), Amendment Bill, 2017 paving the way for an increase in the maximum rate at which the compensation cess on the entry relating to certain category of motor vehicles is being collected by the states.

In his brief reply to uproar-marred debate even as he was surrounded by the slogan-chanting and banner-wielding Opposition members, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Bill would replace the ordinance which was promulgated earlier in September.
He said the compensation to the states was guaranteed.

The GST Council, in its 20th meeting in August, had recommended an increase of 10 percent — up from 15 percent to 25 percent — in the maximum rate on the entry relating to motor vehicles which carry not more than 13 persons. An ordinance was promulgated on September 2 to implement it and the Bill passed on Wednesday would replace it.

Earlier, participating in the debate, members, including Bhartruhari Mahtab of Biju Janata Dal, demanded the abolition of GST on handloom and handicraft products. They also pointed to the confusion among small traders, glitches in software, mismatch of invoices, additional compensation to states, which had led to difficulties in implementation of GST and hit exports as well as small and medium enterprises adversely.

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