New Delhi: The Delhi Assembly on Wednesday ratified the Goods and Services Tax bill with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia stating that it was the biggest tax reform in India.
“We support it. We support tax reform. Delhi is a service state and it (the bill) is quite useful,” Sisodia said in reply to a debate on the bill in the Delhi assembly.
The GST bill was passed by parliament earlier this month.
The Constitution amendment bill has to be ratified by 50 per cent of the states for it to become law. This apart, while the central government will have to take parliament’s nod again for its version of the GST, the states too will need to do the same.
Interestingly, both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators Vijender Gupta and Jagdish Pradhan were absent from the house when the discussion on the bill was going on.
The third BJP legislator, O.P. Sharma, is suspended from the assembly for allegedly passing derogatory remarks against Aam aadmi Party lawmaker Alka Lamba.
Sisodia said the GST would be good for the country’s economy and growth.
Sisodia advocated that businessmen whose turnover is up to Rs 1.5 crore should pay taxes directly to the state government.
He also quipped that the Union Finance Minister in his letter written to the Delhi Chief Minister over the GST bill referred the national capital as a “state” for the first time.
Before Delhi, states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have ratified the bill.
Sisodia said the GST may help Delhi to get increase in its share in central taxes.
“Delhi people contribute Rs 1.37 lakh crore in the nation’s GDP but for the last 17 years, it (Delhi) has been getting Rs 325 crore only as its share of central taxes,” Sisodia said. “GST is a big reform and it may help in increasing Delhi’s share in central taxes.”
During the discussion on the bill, several legislators of the party raised concerns over the welfare of small traders.
Alka Lamba, the AAP legislator from Chandni Chowk, raised concern over the fate of small traders in the national capital after the GST is implemented.
Sisodia assured the legislators of raising their concerns with the central government in the future meetings on the GST.
“We have certain concerns regarding GST. I will apprise the central government about all these concerns at the meeting on GST in future,” Sisodia added.