Odisha Assembly ratifies GST Bill, 16th to do so

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution ratifying the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST), 2016.

Odisha became the 16th state to have passed the landmark tax reform.

In a special sitting of the state assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik moved a resolution on ratification of the GST bill, which was passed after hours long discussion.

The Chief Minister thanked the members of the assembly for supporting the resolution.

He said the GST would bring about comprehensive reform in the indirect tax regime across the country.

The Chief Minister said: “A number of benefits are expected to accrue not only to the central and state governments but also the consumers, business, and industries from the changeover to the Goods and Services Tax system.”

Patnaik, however, said the state government would separately request the Centre to consider its concern for the imposition of green tax on polluting goods in addition to the GST and take appropriate steps for Central Sales Tax compensation to the states up to 2016-17.

Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra argued for a capping on the GST rate for the benefit of the poor.

“I appeal to the government to protect the interest of the poorest of poor people,” said Misha.

The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014, on the GST was passed by parliament in August and it needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before the President can notify the GST Council which will decide the new tax rate and other issues.

The central government has set a target to roll-out the GST Act on April 1, 2017.