Madhya Pradesh assembly ratifies GST Bill
The Madhya Pradesh assembly unanimously ratified the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Service Tax (GST) on Wednesday after a three-hour long debate. It became the seventh state to do so.bhopal Updated: Aug 25, 2016 09:44 IST
The Madhya Pradesh assembly unanimously ratified the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Service Tax (GST) on Wednesday after a three-hour long debate. It became the seventh state to do so.
Around 20 legislators including chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, finance minister Jayant Malaiya, deputy speaker Rajendra Singh and acting leader of opposition Bala Bachchan expressed their views on the Bill. Chouhan termed it as a process towards economic integration of the country.
The Congress legislators, while supporting the Bill, expressed concerns on revenue loss in the long run. They asked how the state government would ensure that the tax burden would not be put on the people.
The Congress MLAs also asked why petrol and diesel were being kept out of the purview of the GST.
Deputy speaker and Congress legislator Rajendra Singh said the GST was a revolutionary bill and it would bring around Rs 9 to 10 lakh crore revenue to the government and push the growth rate by 1.5 %.
He said 160 countries had implemented the GST, many of them decades ago, and the delay in its implementation here had affected the development process.
He also expressed concern and asked whether the recommendations made by the GST Council would be taken seriously or will they become a “toothless tiger.”
Interrupting Singh, Malaiya said if the GST Council did not arrive at a decision, there was a provision for a constitutional system which would resolve the issue.
He said the GST would improve the economy of a consumer state like Madhya Pradesh and simplify taxation. The finance minister said there should be no doubt on revenue loss to the state as the Central government had already assured full compensation for five years for any revenue loss.
Mallaiya clarified that the issue of petroleum products prices is not the subject matter of GST and it is outside its purview.
Congress leader Ram Niwas Rawat asked how the concerns of the state governments will be safeguarded when the recommendations of the GST Council were not binding while Bachchan said the government should not increase the standard tax rate under the GST beyond 18%.
The chief minister, however, said his government would not put any extra tax burden on the people and the GST would benefit consumers and attract private investment.
“Earlier, besides direct taxes, there were many indirect taxes -- many of which remained almost hidden. But under the GST, taxes won’t increase, just the base of taxation will increase,” he said.
Chouhan said August 8 was a historic day when India took a giant step towards economic integration. “We are happy that, rising above party politics, both the Congress and the BJP took it forward and finally passed the historic bill.”
WHAT IS GST?
GST is India’s most ambitious tax reform plan
It aims to stitch together a common market by dismantling fiscal barriers between states
It is a single national uniform tax levied across the country on all goods and services
WHAT’S ON NOW?
The Centre and states levy multiple taxes such as excise duty, octroi, central sales tax (CST), value added tax (VAT), octroi, entry tax among others
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER GST?
GST will replace all local and central indirect taxes with a single tax
The states and the Centre will collect identical rates of taxes on goods and services
For example, if 18% is the GST rate on a particular good across the country, the states and the Centre will get 9% each called the CGST and SGST rates
Before Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have passed the bill in their respective assemblies.
The GST bill requires approval from at least 15 state legislatures before the President notifies the GST Council.
The government hopes to roll out GST by April 1, 2017.