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We Shouldn't Tax Our People Unnecessarily, Says Arun Jaitley

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The Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution Amendment Bill to pave the way for GST on 3 August.

On Thursday, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu spoke to all nine chief ministers from the BJP and asked them to ensure that the bill is passed by their respective state assemblies this month.

After getting the Rajya Sabha nod for its "one nation, one tax" idea, the Centre plans to go full throttle to roll it out from the next financial year.

"The GST will have a positive impact on growth and tax revenues over the medium term, supporting the sovereign's credit profile", the ratings agency said while counting other positives.

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia today said the party will support GST Constitutional Amendment Bill and has issued whip to all its MPs to be present in the House tomorrow where it is scheduled to be taken up for passage.

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Replying to the debate in RS, Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, Government of India, said the GST rate will be kept "as low as possible" but did not commit to a specific rate despite opposition benches pressing for it.

Jaitley said the government is targeting to bring the legislations - the Central GST Bill and the Integrated GST (GST) Bill - before the Parliament in the Winter Session of Parliament in November.

GST will have a three-slab structure with most goods and services at the standard rate in the middle. "State will also be empowered to tax on services" said Amat.

Most of the states would have to call a special session to ratify the Bill, as their Assembly sessions are already over. The GST Bill, when it is implemented will remove the multiplicity of indirect taxes that plague India's business environment right now, and will help in improving the ease of doing business, the Modi government hopes.

Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian on Thurday said while a GST rate of close to 22 per cent will put inflationary pressure, higher rate of 27 per cent will become totally self-defeating.

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