BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh became the sixth state in the country on Wednesday to pass the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill 2017, which was cleared unanimously during the day-long special session of the State Assembly (an extension of the budget session of the Vidhan Sabha).
Prior to MP, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh passed the GST bill. The bill was introduced in the Assembly by the state's finance minister Jayant Malaiya ensued by an hour-and-half-long debate, which saw the participation of ruling BJP members Kailash Vijayvargiya and Yashpal Singh Sisodia.
Others members included the leader of opposition Ajay Singh, party's chief whip Ramniwas Rawat, Mahendra Singh Kalukheda, Mukesh Naik, Bala Bachchan and Jaivardhan Singh.
Malaiya informed the house that several awareness workshops have been held by his department to educate all concerned about the new tax regime. "An assistance centre will be set up at the tax headquarters in the state and a help desk will also be available at all tax circle offices of the state," he added.
He further informed that all commercial tax officers have been trained in the new tax regime.
Participating in the debate, BJP national general secretary and MLA Kailash Vijayvargiya said the GST as per the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will bring economic stability in the country by making the country's product more competitive in the global marketplace.
"The World Bank has stated that the GST will also enhance capital investment and generate more employment. By doing away with the multitude of indirect taxes, the GST regime will put a check on inflation and at the same time also render more tax revenue to the government treasury," said Vaijayvargiya.
While supporting the passage of the bill, the opposition Congress members questioned why the BJP did not support the passage of the bill in the parliament during the UPA regime at the centre.
"PM Narendra Modi, as Gujarat CM, had opposed the same GST bill in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012," said Singh.
Senior Congress MLA Bala Bachchan urged the government to also include electricity under the ambit of the GST, as it will ensure that consumers across all states get electricity at a uniform rate.