GST bill ratified by the first state ‘Assam’

The much awaited and controversial GST bill is considered as a huge amendment in the tax collection system of our country. It is said to be the greatest reform since the implementation of LPG policy by the Congress-led UPA Government in 1991. LPG was Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization policy of India to open its gate for the international buyers and sellers. It was supposed to be difficult for state governments to adopt but Assam becomes the first state in India to ratify the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Service Tax (GST) after the Assam assembly passed it unanimously.

The state cabinet of Assam has approved GST on Friday morning before it was placed in the House during the ongoing assembly session.

Soon after the passing of the Bill, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted that, “A historic resolution was passed in the assembly on Friday. Assam became the first state to ratify the constitutional amendment bill relating to the GST. I am sure Assam will benefit from the GST through higher economic growth and better revenue collection.”

Sonowal informed the media that Prime Minister congratulated the Government on the passing of the Bill in a phone call with him. It was the desire and dream of CM to be the first Indian state to pass the GST bill to send a positive message to the industry as informed by Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma.

“It is a historic occasion for the state to be the first to pass this bill. I thank the Speaker (Ranjit Kumar Das) for allowing us to introduce it as we informed him on Thursday night,” said Sharma, while introducing the bill on behalf of CM.

The opposition in Assam along with all the MLAs has also supported the bill in Assembly.

As the provision says, Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill for GST was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday, with the consent of 443 members of the House. The deadline for the rollout of the GST is April 1, 2017.

It is said that at least 50 percent of the states have to pass what the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, for the next phase of legislative action to follow, to ultimately introduce pan-India Goods and Services Tax regime in the country.

This new regime will begin with a combined and collective tax collection of central indirect levies like excise duty, countervailing duty and service tax, as also state taxes such as value added tax (VAT), entry tax and luxury tax, to create a single, pan-India market.

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