The salient features of the Bill are as follows:
- Conferring simultaneous power upon Parliament and the State Legislatures to make laws governing goods and services tax;
- Subsuming of various Central indirect taxes and levies such as Central Excise Duty, Additional Excise Duties, Service Tax, Additional Customs Duty commonly known as Countervailing Duty, and Special Additional Duty of Customs.
- Subsuming of State Value Added Tax/Sales Tax, Entertainment Tax (other than the tax levied by the local bodies), Central Sales Tax (levied by the Centre and collected by the States), Octroi and Entry tax, Purchase Tax, Luxury tax, and Taxes on lottery, betting and gambling.
- Dispensing with the concept of ‘declared goods of special importance’ under the Constitution.
- Levy of Integrated Goods and Services Tax on inter-State transactions of goods and services.
- GST to be levied on all goods and services, except alcoholic liquor for human consumption. Petroleum and petroleum products shall be subject to the levy of GST on a later date notified on the recommendation of the Goods and Services Tax Council.
- Compensation to the States for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the Goods and Services Tax for a period of five years.
- Creation of Goods and Services Tax Council to examine issues relating to goods and services tax and make recommendations to the Union and the States on parameters like rates, taxes, cesses and surcharges to be subsumed, exemption list and threshold limits, Model GST laws, etc. The Council shall function under the Chairmanship of the Union Finance Minister and will have all the State Governments as Members.