Uttarakhand becomes fifth state to pass SGST Bill
The Uttarakhand assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Bill, paving the way for a simplified taxation system in the interest of traders and government.dehradun Updated: May 02, 2017 20:54 IST
DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Bill, paving the way for a simplified taxation system in the interest of traders and government.
The Centre plans to launch the Goods and Services Tax in the country on July 1. “Uttarakhand is the fifth state to pass the SGST Bill after Telangana, Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand state,” finance minister Prakash Pant told HT on the sidelines of the assembly session.
The Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP government had convened a special two-day session of the assembly for the purpose.
Pant moved the SGST Bill in the House for ratification. Initiating the debate, he said the Bill proposes unification of various taxes imposed by the Centre and the state. “The proposed law will pave the way for setting up of a common national market,” Pant said, adding that the proposed law would lessen the burden of indirect taxes on traders.
The SGST regime would benefit the state as it “is a destination based” taxation regime, Pant said. “That means the state to which goods and services are supplied will be legally empowered to charge taxes. It is unlike the earlier taxation system under which all tax benefits would go to the state from where goods and services were supplied.”
Pant said taxation system would be simplified as some 17 indirect taxes shall be subsumed in SGST. “That means, for traders, paying their returns will be a hassle-free experience as they’ll be able to file all types of indirect taxes through single window,” he said, adding that both the Centre and the states would be empowered to impose their taxes.
“It (GST regime) also encourages a uniform taxation system, which will boost trade,” he said, asserting that GST “is a kind of system” that benefits both traders and the government. “This regime will reduce the burden of taxes on traders whereas the government will benefit in terms of tax revenue.”
The SGST regime allows the state to impose taxes on six goods, including alcohol and petroleum products, he said.
Leader of the Opposition Indira Hridayesh concurred that the SGST regime would benefit Uttarakhand as it was a consumer state. But she warned the benefit would accrue to the state only till 17% annual growth was maintained. “We were included in the GST regime because we were able to register a 17% annual growth in the last fiscal,” she added.
Congress legislator Qazi Nizamuddin said the government would have to ensure that taxes paid by industrial investors under the tax holiday scheme were reimbursed. “That is necessary because the Centre’s track record of reimbursing industrial investors has been abysmal.”
The Opposition members also expressed the fear about the implementation of the SGST regime as it was a sophisticated system requiring online operations.
Pant sought to allay the doubts saying all reimbursements would be paid to industrial investors online. “Besides, we are developing a system where traders will be trained to pay their taxes online.” He added that in case traders face any problem, they could take up their issues with the GST Council.