The Gujarat Legislative Assembly on Tuesday ratified and passed the newly introduced State Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill during a day-long special session held here.

The Gujarat Goods and Services Tax bill, 2017 was passed unanimously with Opposition Congress leaders Shankersinh Vaghela and Shaktisinh Gohil seeking certain changes in the Bill to be presented before the GST Council.

During the discussion on the Bill in the House, the Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds finance portfolio informed that the State predominantly engaged in manufacturing activities, would lose some tax income after the rollout of the new indirect tax regime under GST. However, he admitted that the five year compensation offered from the Centre should suffice to compensate the projected losses.

The ratification of the new bill in the State Assemblies is mandatory for rollout GST from July 1, 2017.

On April 6, the Parliament had passed four legislations thereby paving the way roll out GST from July.

"GST will abolish all the taxation related disputes between the States and this will make Indian economy more strong. After implementation of GST, the state will lose some tax income but the Centre has agreed to provide 14 per cent compensation for the next five years," Patel said in his address to the house.

As per the new Bill, the existing Value Added Tax (VAT) Act will be withdrawn after the passing of the new GST Bill in the Gujarat Assembly. However, the indirect tax in the form of VAT will continue to be levied on petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, crude oil, natural gas, liquor and aviation turbine fuel (ATF).

Leader of Opposition in the House and Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela stated, that it was BJP which had earlier stalled passage of GST citing the losses. "The bill was recently passed in Rajya Sabha thanks to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. We are thinking beyond party interest and in the larger interest of nation, we are supporting you to pass the bill in Gujarat assembly."

Congress leader and National Spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil suggested that taxes on petroleum products be minimal to bring the inflation under control and cap the GST should at 15 per cent. "In about 190 countries, there are GST or other similar taxes. But they are capped at 14.5-16.8 per cent even in high income countries. We suggest the upper limit in the GST be capped at 15 per cent."

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