The Odisha Legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously ratified the Constitution Amendment Bill for Goods and Services Tax (GST), paving way for introduction of the landmark tax reform.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik moved the statutory resolution in this regard at a special one-day session of the assembly which was supported by members of all political parties barring the lone CPI(M) member who did not participate in the discussion.
The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 on GST was passed by Parliament recently and Odisha has become the 16th state to ratify it. Ratification of the Bill by at least half of the total states was mandated before it is sent for the Presidents nod.
Not touching the controversial point of capping the tax limit as demanded by the Opposition Congress members, Patnaik said, "We will separately request the government of India to consider states concern for imposition of Green Tax on polluting goods in addition to GST."
"We will also request the Centre to take appropriate action for CST compensation to the states up to 2016-17 for reduction of CST from 4 per cent to 2 per cent," he said.
While supporting the resolution, Patnaik said a number of benefits are expected to accrue not only to the central and state governments, but also to the consumers, business and industry from the change over to the GST system.
"The overall tax burden on most commodities is expected to come down. The government will get the benefit of higher revenue efficiency. The business and industry will find it easier to comply with," he said, adding that the Constitutional Amendment for the GST marks the beginning of a journey.
"We have to establish the legal framework through enactment of the GST laws by the Centre and the states, put in place a robust information technology-based platform for administering the new tax, manage the change through training the tax administrators and officials, familiarise the members of trade and industry with the processes of the new taxation system and sensitise the public about its effect," Patnaik said.