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Goods and Services Tax bill to be tabled in winter session

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New Delhi: Showing clear intent in reforming India’s indirect tax regime within a time frame, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said the government would bring in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the upcoming winter session of parliament.

The Finance Minister made the announcement at the Citi Bank Investor Summit here. Parliament is scheduled to convene next Monday for the month-long winter session.

Last week, the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST met here and expressed the hope that the new tax regime could be implemented by the proposed date – April 1, 2016 – notwithstanding their differences with the central government over some key provisions.

The central government has written to the committee suggesting the threshold annual turnover for levying the GST should be increased to Rs 25 lakh (Rs 2.5 million) from Rs 10 lakh (Rs one million).

The committee in August resolved to lower the threshold limit for imposing the GST on companies from a turnover of Rs 25 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

Seen as a key to facilitating industrial growth and improving the business climate in the country, the GST bill needs to be passed by a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament and by the legislatures of half of the 29 states to become a law.

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