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Tuesday, 23 May, 2017, 09 : 30 AM [IST]

Maharashtra Legislature passes State GST Bill

As per an India Today report, the Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 was passed unanimously today by both houses of the state legislature at the end of a three-day special session, convened for the purpose. "All political parties had unanimity over the GST Bill. Today, this supreme house has unanimously passed this bill. I thank the House for this," said Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

He termed the development as "a historic day" for the legislature and said now the country is a step closer to One Nation-One Tax regime even as ruling coalition Bharatiya Janta Party and Shiv Sena legislators celebrated by distributing sweets and hugging each other.

He added, "So far GST bill has been passed by 12 to 13 states. But Maharashtra is the only state which debated over GST for almost three days and finally passed this bill. We have passed the bill which will keep autonomy of corporations and will be giving fair compensation to them which is the unique point of this bill".

Replying to the protracted debate on the Bill in the legislative assembly, Maharashtra Minister for Finance and Planning Sudhir Mungantiwar pointed out that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been levied in over 160 countries, including Canada, Indonesia, New Zealand and United Kingdom. He said all these countries with the GST system of taxation have not faced inflation and have seen consistent rise in their Gross Domestic Produce (GDP).

He also said that after implementation of GST there will be an increase government's revenue and dip in inflation. Mungantiwar said the new tax regime would help strengthen Maharashtra's economy and eliminate the "tax terrorism" being encountered by the people. He said the government has accepted responsibility to compensate the local bodies for five years for the expected loss of revenue due to abolition of octroi and local body taxes due to GST.

However, Mungantiwar said the state's economy was strong enough to adopt GST and would not require compensation from the Central government for revenue losses after two years.

He pointed that 107 nations around the world have implemented GST, including many developed countries and their economies have flourished. Mungantiwar said that around 5,000 staffers of the Finance Department have already been trained for work related to GST implementation and another 6,000 will be trained in the coming weeks.

The assembly witnessed hectic discussions before ratification of the three related GST bills, including the State Goods and Services Tax Bill, another to compensate the local authorities and the third to repeal the existing law and replace them with GST with effect from July 1. (Source: India Today)

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