BHUBANESWAR: : Discussion on the Odisha Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 and the Odisha Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the assembly was deferred till tomorrow to give more time to the members to study and understand the bills and enable them to participate in the deliberations in a meaningful manner.
The two day special session of the assembly convened to pass the two bills began today with the opposition members seeking more time to prepare themselves for the discussion on the bills introduced in the house by finance minister Sashi Bhusan Behera.
The business advisory committee (BAC) of the house was convened to finalise the schedule of discussion of the two bills and house was adjourned upto 3pm when the Opposition members objected to the hasty manner in which the government wanted the bills to be passed. "The house is adjourned till 10.30 am tomorrow as per the decision of the BAC," Speaker Pradip Amat announced when the proceedings resumed at 3pm.
It was decided at the BAC meeting that the members should be given one day time to study the contents of the Bills before discussion in the house. The Speaker announced that discussion on both the bills will be held tomorrow.
As the house began for the day after the obituary references, leader of the opposition Narasingh Mishra objected to manner in which the Bills are being pushed to be passed without giving adequate time for the members to study their contents.
Mishra said there are 174 clauses in the Odisha Goods and Service Tax Bill, 2017 and 23 clauses in the Odisha VAT (Amendment) Bill, 2017, besides huge annexures attached to both the bills. Members should be given adequate time to study and then discuss on the subject, he said.
"Otherwise, the people will think that a bunch of jokers are sitting in the Assembly. We should have given more time to go through the GST and VAT Bills," he said.
The bills should have been given to the members before seven days but were circulated 11 hours back, Mishra said and added that last minute corrections in the bills were informed to the legislators before the session started.
Many members of the assembly expressed their ignorance on the bills and said they have not gone through the contents and ascertained whether the state will benefit after passing of the bills.
While introducing the Bills, Behera said one tax structure would prevail across the country. He said the Odisha Goods and Service Tax Bill provides provision to levy tax on all inter-state supplies of goods or service except supply of alcoholic liquor for human consumption at a rate to be notified as recommended by the Goods and Service Tax Council.