Himachal Assembly passes state GST Bill
Himachal Pradesh in a special assembly session on Saturday unanimously approved the state Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who also holds a finance portfolio, moved the bill which was supported by the main opposition party - the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The bill was passed on the second day of the house after an hour-long discussion. The house subsequently adjourned sine die.
The Chief Minister said the GST would simplify and harmonise the indirect tax regime in the state as well as in the country.
It is expected to reduce cost of production and inflation in the economy, thereby making the trade and industry more competitive, domestically as well as internationally.
The Chief Minister told the media that it was the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that conceived the GST Bill.
Leader of Opposition and two-time Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said the GST was a pro-consumer act and the highest tax reform in the independent India.
He said staple foods like wheat and rice have been kept out of its ambit of the GST which would help the common man.