Mumbai, Aug 29 (IANS) A special session of the Maharashtra Legislature opened here on Monday morning to discuss and (later) ratify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which will make it the ninth state in the country to do so.
The GST Bill was recently passed in both houses of Parliament and now the ratification of various states is currently underway.
Moving a resolution in support of the Bill, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the GST Bill would help abolish as many as 17 different types of taxes and lead to lowering of inflation.
“Transparency would increase and corrupt practices will be curbed and having a common tax structure would benefit the country’s economy. In Maharashtra, the manufacturing and services sectors would get a boost due to GST,” Mungantiwar said.
He pointed out that GST would help eliminate the competition among states for levying taxes and such a tax is already implemented in 125 countries around the world.
Participating in the debate, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil (Congress) asked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena “not to grab credit for GST which was brought by the UPA Government in 2010.”
“The NDA government at the centre is creating a misleading impression that it is doing something new for the country. However, it was the then Congress Finance Minister P. Chidambaram who had brought the GST Bill as part of the Congress’s ‘One Country, One Tax’ policy initiative. So the BJP should refrain from taking the credit for it,” Vikhe-Patil pointed out.
Referring to changing times, Vikhe-Patil said when Narendra Modi was Gujarat chief minister, he had totally opposed GST and now as Prime Minister, he is pleading for the same GST brought by the Congress.
The GST Bill has been supported by all the political parties in the state though they have expressed their doubts and reservations over certain issues.
After it is voted through later today, Maharashtra will emerge as the ninth state in India to ratify the GST Bill.