A worker rides his bicycle past steel rims in a dockyard at Mumbai Port Trust in Mumbai November 17, 2014. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

By Rajesh Kumar Singh

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Rajya Sabha backed a major tax reform on Wednesday that seeks to transform the country into a common market, though opposition benches urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley not to overtax businesses and consumers.

A worker rides his bicycle past steel rims in a dockyard at Mumbai Port Trust in Mumbai November 17, 2014. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

A bill allowing the constitution to be amended so that a nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) could be rolled out was held up for years by political in-fighting. Its passage marks a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he eyes an economic boost for Asia’s third-largest economy.

“GST is one of the most significant tax reforms in the history of India,” Jaitley told lawmakers.

The finance minister vowed to roll out the new sales tax as soon as possible, but refrained from committing to a firm schedule after missing the original launch date of April 2016. Read More

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