GST Debate – Meaningful or Political

Today when the elite leaders of this nation (the Rajya Sabha members) will debate over Biggest Tax reform since our independence: GST, they will actually be debating over the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill.

The debate will focus over various issues including the insertion of 3 new Articles and amendment of 11 old articles. But it will be interesting to see whether our learned leaders are going to really touch on the core issues or will it be just a play to the galleries like any other political debate.

The interesting thing will be to see whether our politicians, who represent us in the Parliament, have read the 115th Constitution Amended Bill and have compared it with the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill.

It will be interesting to see, whether the methodology of voting in the GST Council is debated upon. It will be interesting to see whether they question this Weighted Voting Mechanism and the inbuilt hidden veto powers, which is tilting the balance on one side. According to the Concept Notes of The Constitution 122nd Amendment Bill, the Weighted voting rights as distributed among the Centre and the 29 States, in the event of voting on any proposal will be 33.33% and 66.67%, respectively. Moreover to convert a proposal into recommendation, a majority of not less than three-fourths of weighted votes (i.e. 75%) of the members present and voting will be required. Looking at the present Political scenario in the country, achieving a majority with 75% votes on any proposal i.e. 19 states on a single stand, does not seem possible.

Looking forward to another stimulating point is that whether there will be any discussion on the RNR reports of the Study groups v/s the politically motivated arbitrary 18% rate, which may prove to be insufficient in years to come.

It is going to be interesting to see if our representatives have understood that based on the recent Model GST Law, the GST Council has been made the supreme authority, due to which CBEC & other state Tax Boards or Commissionerates will have to solely depend upon the GST Council for any and every reason.

It will be really interesting to see if they stress the need of Dispute Resolution Mechanism (similar to that as proposed in 115th Constitution Amendment Bill) as disputes between two states cannot be ruled out in future. If not, what will be the alternate machinery for the purpose of resolving disputes between the states.


It is going to be fascinating to see whether our leaders will engage in a meaningful logical pinpointed debate or this is just about trying to gain political scores.

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