The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed four bills that seek to amend GST laws which, among other things, seek to simplify the return filing process and increase the upper limit of turnover for opting for composition scheme from Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore, among others.
The Central GST (Amendment) Bill, Integrated GST (Amendment) Bill, Union Territory GST (Amendment) Bill and GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill were tabled in the lower House of Parliament on Tuesday.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said the government is making all efforts to simplify procedures and rationalise Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates to create a “good and simple tax regime as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
He said the GST Council has reduced GST rates on 384 items and 68 services in the last one year, and as compliance and revenue collection increases, tax rate on more goods and services will be slashed.
Goyal said that acknowledging the need to simplify return filing process, a committee was set up to study return forms which came up with a single-page return.
“It has now been placed in the public domain for wider consultation.”
The Minister said some changes are needed in the law as well to bring in the simple monthly return form, which are being made through the amendment bills.
“Small traders were worried about the reverse charge mechanism and so we decided to make appropriate changes in the law, so as to enable GST Council to decide whether to implement it at all and if yes, then when to implement it. We also deferred it by 15 months to September 2019,” he said.
The opposition raised a noisy protest during his response in the Lok Sabha, to which Goyal said the opposition parties are “obstructing and delaying passage of law that is in interest of the nation”.
“This is unfortunate. People are watching how you are obstructing the work which is for the welfare of the nation. What message do you want to send to people? Do you want tax rates to be high?
“Congress ministers were involved in the process of framing the amendment bills. And still you are obstructing… People are watching that you act different in the GST Council and entirely different outside,” the Minister said.