The State GST Bill was tabled in the opening session of the 17th Uttar Pradesh assembly today with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath describing the new tax regime as a “welfare measure”. The chief minister tabled the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the House when it reassembled after Governor Ram Naik’s address to the joint sitting of the state legislature.This is the first assembly session after the BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath came to power last month after a landslide victory in the state assembly elections. “GST is an important step not only for traders, but also for economic reforms in the country. ‘One Nation, One Tax’ is in the interest of the country and also of the state.
Now the responsibility is on the Vidhan Sabha to pass the GST Bill,” Adityanath said. “In politics you have difference of opinions, but the consensus of different political parties for economic development is laudable. GST is getting support from all over the country. Eight states have already passed GST. The onus is now on UP and it (bill) will be passed in this assembly session,” the chief minister said, exuding confidence.
The session was convened especially for introduction and passage of the GST Bill with the Narendra Modi-led Central government keen on rolling out the indirect tax regime from July 1. After the House was adjourned for the day, a workshop was conducted to apprise all legislators of the salient features of the proposed legislation on GST. On May 2, the UP cabinet had approved a draft bill for implementation of the GST in the state. After the bill is passed by the state assembly, where the BJP has a three-fourth majority, Uttar Pradesh will join the likes of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Telangana, Bihar and Rajasthan whose legislatures have given their nod to the indirect tax regime.
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The state government is confident that its tax revenue would increase under GST, which is touted as the most liberal tax structure to be adopted in the country. Four key GST legislations — the Central GST Act, the Integrated GST Act, the GST (Compensation to States) Act and the Union Territory GST Act — were passed by the Parliament in its last session. The four legislations, which have since got the president’s assent, aim to pave way for the roll-out of GST from July 1. Seen as a path-breaking step in the taxation regime, GST is expected to create a congenial and cohesive atmosphere for business in the country.
Different indirect taxes like the central excise duty, central sales tax and service tax are to be merged with the C-GST, while S-GST will subsume state sales tax, VAT, luxury tax and entertainment tax. The ‘consumer state’ of Uttar Pradesh is projected to be a net tax gainer under the new tax regime as GST is a destination-based taxation system as against manufacturing source based. Uttar Pradesh had also witnessed its tax kitty burgeon under the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime. VAT was implemented in the northern state on January 1, 2008 during the previous Mayawati-led government. While successive governments in UP have been optimistic of tax coffers inflating under GST, the compensation clause had been a bone of contention. Over the past several months, the state commercial tax department had been holding consultative meetings with all the stakeholders, including traders and tax experts, to elicit their views on the new tax regime.