Bihar houses to adopt GST, other crucial bills at special sitting today

The Nitish Kumar government has convened a special sitting of the Bihar legislature on Monday to adopt goods and services tax (GST) related laws, to facilitate the roll out of the single tax regime.

india Updated: May 16, 2017 18:26 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
GST bills,Bihar houses,Special sitting
The Bihar legislative assembly complex where the state’s own GST related bills will be taken up on Monday. (HT file photo)

PATNA The Bihar government is all set to adopt the Bihar goods and services tax bill, 2017, along with the Bihar taxation (amendment) bill, 2017, to pave the way for possible July 1 roll out of the goods and services tax (GST), the single tax regime that will replace multiple state and central taxes to create one national market.

The Bihar goods and services tax bill, 2017, the Bihar taxation (amendment) bill, 2017, and three other important legislations will be taken up during a special (not joint) sitting of the two houses of the Bihar legislature, here on Monday.

The other bills that will be taken up during the sitting will be the right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement (Bihar amendment) bill, 2017, the Bihar state universities (amendment) bill, 2017, and the Patna university (amendment) bill, 2017.

The Bihar edition of GST related bills are being taken up subsequent to the passage by parliament earlier this month of four bills related to the GST, namely, the central GST bill, 2017; the integrated GST bill, 2017; the GST (compensation to states) bill, 2017; and the union territory GST bill, 2017.

Officials here said states were required to ratify the GST-related law(s) and in keeping with its endorsement of the tax reforms proposal from the outset, the Bihar government moved the proposal for a special sitting the state legislature the very next day after the Parliament session ended.

The Bihar state universities (amendment) bill, 2017 and the Patna university (amendment) bill, 2017, purport to put college principals back in the teaching fold to end a controversy raging since amendments made to the universities’ act(s) in 2012.

The government had, on March 30 also, tabled two universities’ bills, at that time to facilitate the revival of the Bihar state university service commission, which had been dissolved in 2007. Now, the government wants to remove the ‘anomaly’ in the 2012 act, which pushed college principals into the non-teaching cadre, to trigger a controversy.

“The basic requirement for being a principal is that one should have teaching experience of 10 years or more. The government view is that it is not right to remove principals from teaching cadre and the act should be accordingly amended,” said an official, without specifying if this would happen with prospective or retrospective effect.

Another importance move through the proposed varsity amendment bills is to allow civil administration officials, like ADMs, to be appointed registrars of universities, a position hitherto confined to teachers. Sources said the government was not happy with the way some of the registrars were functioning and wanted to put its administrative officials in the key positions to ‘regulate’ the universities.

According to sources, the passage of the land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement (Bihar amendment) Bill is also a requirement after the central government left it to the states to amend the central law as per their requirement.

After coming to power in 2014, the NDA government at the centre had brought amendments to the land acquisition act, 2013 and got it passed by the Lok Sabha. But it could not ensure its passage in the Rajya Sabha. Later, it was left to the states to take a call on it.

“The bill is aimed at removing the anomalies that lead to litigation on the quantum of compensation and cause delay in land acquisition for important projects,” said sources, adding, several states had come up with their own land laws in the past one year.

First Published: Apr 23, 2017 18:07 IST