Lok Sabha passes GST Bill; concern over impact on food processing sector

FMCGThe Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill that will eventually replace a number of Central and state indirect taxes with a single uniform tax regime.

The Bill was termed game-changing reform that will turn India into a single, seamless market. The proposed GST would harmonise state and Central taxes into a national sales tax to achieve the target of making India one big market.

While participating in the debate, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said that GST would reduce prices in the long run and boost economic growth and added that fears of any state losing revenue after rollout were misplaced.

The new tax regime will replace many taxes from Central and state pool that include excise duty, customs duty, service tax, VAT and other state levies. But the road ahead is not smooth as the government does not enjoy majority in Rajya Sabha, where the Bill will be tabled next.

The implementation of GST coupled with green shoots in certain macro-economic indicators may facilitate the economy to enter into double digit trajectory in the medium term.