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Goa becomes 15th state to ratify GST Bill


Panaji : Goa today became the 15th state to ratify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill, paving the way for the legislation to be notified by the President to the GST Council.

During a day-long session of the assembly convened today, all the members of the House unanimously passed the resolution ratifying the GST with Opposition MLAs cautioning the state government over implication of the new tax regime in Goa.

Ruling out any negative impact on the new tax regime, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said it would instead help sectors like service and tourism, bringing in more revenue to the state.

He said the Centre has already assured to compensate for five years, if there is any loss in revenue during implementation of GST.

Parsekar termed the GST Bill as “historical, revolutionary and far sighted”.

“Many thought that NDA with no majority in the Rajya Sabha would not be able to pass the Bill in the Upper House. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi managed to overcome this barrier,” he said.

The Chief Minister also thanked all the Opposition parties for helping to pass the GST bill in Parliament and also in the (different) state assemblies.

“At least 50 per cent of the states need to ratify this Bill in their Houses. Out of 29 states, Goa became the 15th state to do it, making it a historical occasion,” Parsekar said.

He claimed that the GST implementation will help the economic growth of the state.

Speaking in detail, Parsekar said Goa is a service driven state but was not beneffitting from the (service) tax.

“There are many manufacturing industries in the state. But their corporate offices are in other states due to which those states were benefitting. The GST has provisioned that at least 50 per cent of the service tax from the industries should come to Goa,” the chief minister said.

Parsekar calculated that at least Rs 1,000 crore would be annually added to the state exchequer in form of Service Tax.

He pointed out that the taxation on petroleum products, alcohol and brewery, royalty on minerals, vehicle tax and stamp duty will remain in the mandate of state government as it is kept out of GST.

“The Bill will also have positive impact on tourism,” Parsekar said.

Leader of Opposition Pratapsinh Rane told the House that since the Bill exempts five items including petroleum products, there is need for improvement in it in future to avoid cascading effects.

He said GST will be beneficial for states like Goa which is high on consumption and tourism.

GST aims to do away with multiple-tax regime on goods and services and bring them under one rate. It will alter the present system of production-based taxation to a consumption-based one. The government has set a deadline of April, 2017 for its roll-out.

While manufactured consumer goods will become cheaper as the incidence of excise duty and VAT will come down from 25-26 per cent at present, the cost of services would by and large, go up from the present 15 per cent levy.

The Constitution Amendment Bill passed by Parliament needs to be ratified by more than half of the total states before it could be sent for Presidential assent. So far, 15 states have ratified the Bill.

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