Special Assembly session to ratify GST bill on Sept 1

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Bhubaneswar: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill passed by both the Houses of Parliament recently will be approved at a special session of the Odisha Assembly to be convened on September 1.

This was decided at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the state secretariat here on Tuesday.

“A special session of the State Assembly has been convened on September 1 to discuss and approve the Bill. Since the Bill, seen as the single biggest tax reform in a long time, needs to be ratified by at least 15 State legislatures before the President can notify the GST Council, we will complete the official process on that day,” chief secretary AP Padhi told media persons after the cabinet meeting.

The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 on GST has already been passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Assam became the first state to ratify the Bill. Last week, Bihar became the first non-NDA state to ratify it after chief minister Nitish Kumar counted the virtues of the new tax regime.

So far six states have approved the Bill while the Gujarat State Assembly ratified it in the absence of the Opposition Congress on Tuesday.

GST aims to do away with the multiple-tax regime on goods and services and bring them under one rate. It will repalce the present system of production-based taxation with a consumption-based one. While manufactured consumer goods will become cheaper as the incidence of excise duty and VAT will come down from the present rate of 25-26 per cent, the cost of services would, by and large, go up from the present 15 per cent level.

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