The Telangana Legislature on Tuesday unanimously ratified the Goods and Services Tax Constitutional Amendment Bill, becoming 12th state to have approved the legislation that will pave the way for roll-out of a single and unified tax system in the country. Both Houses of the Legislature met for a special one-day session to approve the Constitution (122nd Amendment) (Goods and Services Tax) Bill, passed by Parliament earlier this month.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao introduced the resolution seeking the ratification in the Assembly while Deputy Chief Minister Kadiyam Srihari moved it in the Council. “I sincerely thank all the members for unanimously passing the resolution to ratify the Amendment Bill,” KCR said after the ratification.
He said Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajendar had conveyed the state government’s feelings about the Bill in the meetings convened by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Earlier before moving the resolution, KCR said the Bill may help Telangana as the GST Bill empowers states to levy service tax which is currently under the purview of Centre.
According to him, Telangana would largely benefit (after the implementation of GST) as significant share of its income comes from service sector. “As per the provisions of the GST Bill, the Centre would fill the gap in revenue, if any, for five years. So there should not be any apprehensions of state losing revenues,” the CM said.
Congress member Chinna Reddy said it was the UPA that introduced GST Bill in Parliament and cautioned government on burdening people with tax. GST aims to do away with multiple-tax regime on goods and services and bring them under one rate. It will alter the present system of production-based taxation to a consumption-based one. The government has set a deadline of April, 2017 for its roll-out.
While manufactured consumer goods will become cheaper as the incidence of excise duty and VAT will come down from 25-26 per cent at present, the cost of services would by and large, go up from the present 15 per cent levy. The Constitution Amendment Bill passed by Parliament needs to be ratified by more than half of the total states before it could be sent for Presidential assent. So far, 12 states have ratified the Bill.