NEW DELHI: The Delhi assembly on Wednesday ratified the Goods and Services Tax bill with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia stating that it was the biggest tax reform in India.
“We support it. We support tax reform. Delhi is a service state and it (the bill) is quite useful,” Sisodia said in reply to a debate on the bill in Delhi assembly.
Delhi becomes the third non-BJP-ruled state and overall the eighth to clear the proposed tax regime, billed as single biggest tax reform in decades.
The bill was endorsed by the House by a voice vote following a brief discussion during which Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia called GST a "big reform" which will be good for the country's economy and growth.
The two BJP legislators were not present when the bill was ratified as they had staged a walkout over a separate issue, while another party MLA was serving suspension from the House for allegedly making derogatory remarks against an AAP legislator.
Delhi's share in central taxes has been stagnant at Rs 325 crore for the last 17 year and rolling out of GST is expected to increase its share in central taxes significantly.
“It's good for the entire country, not only for Delhi. It will be extremely helpful in terms of services. For the last 17 years, Delhi has been getting Rs 325 crore as its share of Central taxes despite contributing as much as Rs 1,37,000 crore to the country's GDP. GST is a big reform, said Sisodia.
The AAP government has been supporting the Centre on the GST though both sides are locked in a bitter tussle over a range of issues for the last one-and-half years.
Speaking during the brief discussion on GST, a number of AAP MLAs hailed the proposed tax regime.
Later the Deputy Chief Minister took a jibe at the Centre saying it has for the first time recognised the national capital as a ‘state’. “GST bill for the first time recognises Delhi as a state under the new Constitutional amendment to Art 366 - step in right direction finally,” he said in a tweet.
The GST bill was passed by Parliament earlier this month. The Constitution amendment bill has to be ratified by 50 percent of the states for it to become law. This apart, while the centre will have to take Parliament's nod again for its version of the GST, states too will need to do the same.