Bihar Assembly clears GST Bill, paves way for reforms

RSTV Bureau

Nitish-Kumar-Bihar-CM-LiquorBihar state Assembly passed the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Constitution Amendment Bill on Tuesday. After Assam, Bihar became the first non-BJP ruled state to pass the GST Bill.

Bijendra Prasad Yadav, State Minister for Commercial Tax introduced the Bill in the special Assembly session called to clear the bill. Despite being a strong critique of Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance government in the Centre, Bihar has staunchly stood by the government on the GST issue.

Earlier Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and offered to have the Bill passed on August 16. The passage of the bill and implementation of Goods and Services Tax is expected to give Rs 8,000 crore additional revenue annually.

GST being a constitutional amendment bill needs ratification of at least 15 of the 29 states. The government aims to accomplish this within the next 30 days. Although the Bihar Assembly session ended on August 4, Speaker of the Bihar state assembly had called a day long special session to pass the GST.

After Bihar, Gujarat state Assembly is all set to pass the GST during its two-day session beginning August 22, also the first sitting of the House after Vijay Rupani took over as Chief Minister of the BJP-ruled state, replacing Anandiben Patel.

“Apart from other business, the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Service Tax (GST) will be tabled in the House for ratification,” BJP chief whip in Assembly, Pankaj Desai said today.

India’s biggest ever tax reform after 1991, GST was cleared by the Rajya Sabha on August 3 and was passed by Lok Sabha on August 9. The government has set a deadline of April, 2017 for its rollout.