Chhattisgarh passes state GST Bill, becomes fifth state to adopt tax reform law

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha on Friday passed the state Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill- 2017 by voice vote. With this Chhattisgarh became the fifth state in the country to adopt the bill and pave the way for rolling out of the new tax regime from July one.
During the one day special session, which is also an extended sitting of the budget session which concluded on March 30, the house passed the bill after a three hour long debate with chief minister Raman Singh and treasury benches describing the GST Bill as historic. The other states which had adopted GST bill date are Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana and Rajasthan.

Replying to the debate, chief minister Raman Singh termed the GST regime as ‘historic”, saying that the new tax regime also usher in the concept of ” One nation, One tax and one Law”, thus promoting the cause of national integration. He said the GST Bill is also aimed at simplification of tax system and expanding the tax base. “Initially, the biggest concern of the states was to compensate the loss,” the chief minister said, adding that Chhattisgarh fought for the states’ right and advocated right of the state to get the compensation against the loss.
“We succeeded and the state would be getting the required compensation,” Singh said. The revenue loss to the producer states following the implementation of GST would be compensated for the next five years and hence there was no reason of worry about the state’s finances. He underlined that the state’s economy would grow after the latest tax reform.
The opposition members however, expressed concern over the possible fears that there would be inflation, return of inspector raj and hardship to small traders. Leader of the opposition T S Singhdeo said some of the provisions in the GST Law could cause problem to the common man and hence there is a need to analyze and adopt the experiences of tax reforms implemented in other countries.
State commercial taxes minister Amar Agrawal, who tabled the bill, said the camps would be organized across the state to address the queries of traders and businessmen about GST.