The northern east state of Assam became first state in India to ratify The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014.
In this regard, the Assam Assembly passed a resolution ratifying The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014 with simple majority.
The Bill was passed by the Parliament in August 2016 and was forwarded to states for approval as per Article 368 of Constitution. The approval of half of the states (15 out of 29) in mandated as per Article 368 of Constitution as it deals with changes in the features of fiscal federalism.
Article 368: Special Majority plus State ratification
- This type of special majority plus state ratification is required when a constitutional amendment bill try to change the federal structure.
- As per article 368, the bill must be passed by a special majority requiring a majority of 2/3rd members present and voting in both houses of Parliament.
- Besides, it must be ratified by more than half of the state legislatures (15 out of 29 states) by a simple majority.
Key Provisions of the Bill
- Keeping in mind the federal structure of India, the GST has two components viz. Central GST (CGST) and the State GST (SGST).
- Besides, Centre will only levy the Integrated GST (IGST) on interstate supply of goods and services or imports.
- Parliament and state legislatures have concurrent powers to make laws on GST. Parliament will not override state law on GST.
- GST council will recommend rates of tax, period of levy, principles of supply, special provisions to certain states etc.
- GST council will comprise of Union Minister of Finance (Chairman), Union Minister of State (MoS) for Revenue and state finance Ministers as members.
- Alcoholic liquor for human consumption has been keep away from preview of GST.
- Initially, GST will not apply to (i) petroleum crude, (ii) high speed diesel, (iii) motor spirit (petrol), (iv) natural gas and (v) aviation turbine fuel. The GST Council will decide when GST will be levied on them.