Aug 22: The Himachal Pradesh State Assembly on Monday passed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitutional Amendment Bill. Himachal Pradesh became the fourth state to ratify the Constitutional amendment bill to roll out GST. Bihar, Jharkhand, and Assam were the first three states to pass the GST bill.
Bihar found support from the ruling coalition of JD-U, RJD and Congress as well as the BJP-led opposition while it passed the Bill.
Earlier in August, the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill for the rollout of the Goods and Sevices Tax (GST) was passed by the Lok Sabha with 443 members voting in favour of the legislation. Arun Jaitley had announced that the deadline for the rollout of the bill was April 1, 2017.
The GST bill needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before the President can notify the GST council which will decide the new tax rate and other issues. GST is seen as single biggest tax reform in a long time.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that it was the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that proposed and conceived it. As per political observers, the GST bill was likely to be passed unanimously as in the 68-member assembly, where the Congress has a majority with 36 members. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 27 legislators in the state assembly.
The Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill was also tabled to pave the way for regularising unauthorised buildings across the state to replace an ordinance. Chhattisgarh Assembly’s session to pass the Goods and Services Tax bill has commenced and the bill is likely to be passed today.
Last week, the AAP government said that it will place the GST Bill for ratification before the Delhi Assembly. Its four-day session begins today. The AAP government has made it clear that it is in favour of GST. Uttar Pradesh State Assembly which will begin from today will also table the GST Bill.