BHUBANESWAR: Even though the Congress today joined hands with the BJD to ratify the GST Bill in the assembly, it came down heavily on the ruling party for the arbitrary manner in which the session was convened to pass the amendment bill.
Congress will support ratification of the Bill in the greater interest of the country and the state, but the procedure adopted by the ruling party is arbitrary and dictatorial in nature, leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said participating in the bill discussion.
The house witnessed noisy scenes when Congress members protested by standing on their seat when Speaker Niranjan Pujhari did not allow the leader of the Opposition from raising an issue at the beginning.
Mishra raised questions on convening of the special session as there was no such provision in the constitution. The Speaker, however, said the Governor has convened a session as per article 174 of the constitution.
The leader of the opposition said there is confusion in the BJD over the GST Bill. While MPs differ on the issue of a cap on the tax rate, the state government is also not clear over the matter, he said.
Mishra said that there should be 18 per cent cap on tax rate to save the poor people from high taxation. "Ours is a poorest of the poor state. Therefore, the state government must bat for having the capping system," he said.
Quoting from the speech of a BJD MP in Rajya Sabha where in he had said Odisha will lose heavily on revenue collection under the GST system, Mishra asked why the state government convened the session for the ratification of the Bill. "We want to know how much Odisha will benefit or lose", he said. His party colleagues, opposition chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati, Naba Kishore Das and Prafulla Majhi also wanted capping on the tax rate.
BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo supported the ratification and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the passing of the GST Bill in both the Houses of Parliament.
Stating that there is confusion over the Bill everywhere, Ranendra Pratap Swain (BJD) poor people will not benefit anything from the new taxation system.
How the GST benefit people like Dana Majhi, who had to walk ten miles carrying his wife on his shoulders, Swain wanted to know what will be the shape of things in the new tax regime.
His party colleague Amar Prasad Satpathy demanded special dispensation for Odisha as other states like Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.