Arunachal Pradesh today became the 12th state in the country and second in North East after Assam, to ratify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill. Chief Minister Pema Khandu introduced the Arunachal Pradesh Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 during a day-long special session of the assembly, in the newly constructed assembly building here.
The bill aimed at making a provision for levy and collection of tax on inter-state supply of goods or services or both by the state and matter connected therewith or incidental thereto. Various members cutting across party lines while participating in the discussions supported the bill saying that it is aimed at ‘One nation one tax’, which would benefit the state immensely.
Khandu while summing up the discussion said that consuming states like Arunachal Pradesh would benefit from the landmark tax regime. The chief minister revealed that almost all the district headquarters in the state have the required infrastructure in place to embrace GST.
“Work on optical fibre-laying is being undertaken on war footing to connect far-flung rural populace so that each and every citizen of the state benefits from IT connectivity,” Khandu said.
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“GST will be simple and easy to administer, ensure better control on leakages with robust IT infrastructure, higher revenue efficiency, and relief in overall tax burden and with destination-based tax, it will greatly help in removing economic distortions and in development of a common national market,” Khandu added.
The chief minister appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing in an investment-friendly tax reform that would be of immense benefit to Arunachal Pradesh.
“GST will remove a complex tax structure and lead to decrease in prices of commodities,” he said.
Once GST is implemented, all entry gates erected for collecting various taxes will be abolished leading to check in revenue leakages, he said.
The chief minister further added that five regional offices would be set up at Pasighat, Namsai, Jairampur, Bhalukpong and Itanagar for GST implementation and officials in all districts trained in handling the new tax system.
He added that NITI Aayog and the ministry concerned were asked to address gap in IT infrastructure for successful implementation of GST.
Khandu said that the government would work out the GST registration process towards checking dilution of trading license and tax evasion by non-Arunachalee traders.
The chief minister said that the Centre would compensated the state’s tax losses by increasing 14 per cent every year to the tax collected by the state during 2015-16 for a period of five years.
The year 2015-16 has been kept as the base year for compensation, he added. Later the members present in the house passed the bill by voice votes before Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thongdok adjourned it sine die.