TN assembly passes State GST bill amid opposition from DMK

TN assembly passes State GST bill amid opposition from DMK
After initially opposing Centre's proposal to implement GST, AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu on Monday passed Tamil Nadu Goods and Services Tax 2017 bill to make a provision for levy and collection of uniform tax across the State amid opposition from DMK.

During the discussion, DMK working president M K Stalin said that the state government should constitute a select committee for the implementation of State GST and asked the Speaker to postpone the passing of the bill in the House. 

However, since DMK's request was not considered, Stalin along with party legislators staged a walkout from the Assembly.

Earlier during the debate, Minister D Jayakumar said that the Centre has considered Tamil Nadu's request for several amendments that has to be made in GST. "After considering all the aspect, the State has proposed to pass the bill", he added.

Earlier, during the GST Council meeting in Delhi, Jayakumar said that Tamil Nadu is approaching the finish line of the preparatory phase and the starting block of the implementation phase. "The days to come are sure to throw up great challenges". 

Several political leaders including late former chief minister J Jayalalithaa and DMK working president M K Stalin had on several occasion opposed the GST bill saying it compromises the autonomy of the States in fiscal matters.

Jayalalithaa also wrote several letters to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked him to make several amendments to the bill before passing it in the Parliament.

Minister for Commercial Taxes K C Veeramani, who tabled the bill, said the proposed legislation will simplify and harmonise the indirect tax regime in the State.

"It is expected to reduce cost of production and inflation in the economy thereby making the trade and industry more competitive", he said adding due to the seamless transfer of input tax credit from one stage to another in the chain of value addition, there is an inbuilt mechanism in the design of goods and services tax that would incentivise tax compliance by taxpayers.

At present government of Tamil Nadu levies tax on retail sales in the form of value added tax, tax on entry of goods and motor vehicles in the state in the form of entry tax, luxury tax, entertainment tax, purchase tax and advertisement tax.

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