Himachal Pradesh assembly ratifies GST Bill

Shimla, Aug 22 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh assembly on Monday unanimously ratified the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was passed by Parliament this month.

The Bill was introduced by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on the first day of five-day monsoon session.

It was passed by the assembly in less than five minutes without discussion and with thumping of benches, both by the treasury and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The ruling Congress had already announced its support for the legislation.

Just before the Constitutional Amendment Bill was introduced, the BJP staged a walkout from the assembly over the purported remarks of the Chief Minister against them.

They were demanding bringing of a privilege motion against the remarks that appeared in a section of the media.

As Virbhadra Singh, who holds the finance portfolio, introduced the GST Bill for ratification, the BJP members returned to the house.

Himachal Pradesh has become the fourth after Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand to ratify the Bill.

Virbhadra Singh told reporters that the GST Bill was earlier brought by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre.

“The present BJP government brought the same GST Bill which was earlier brought by our government,” he said.

He said the GST Bill, the single biggest tax reform the nation has seen, would facilitate countrywide trade and commerce.

In the 68-member assembly, the Congress has a majority with 36 members. The BJP has 28 legislators.

There are four independent legislators, who are now associate members of the Congress.

–IANS

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