Meghalaya passes GST Bill
The Meghalaya Assembly on Monday unanimously approved the State Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, ahead of the nationwide rollout of the new tax regime from July 1. With this, the entire northeast has approved the bill.
Taxation Minister Zenith M. Sangma, who moved the bill, said it was unanimously adopted after members discussed the benefits and ramification of the GST regime.
The opposition United Democratic Party, the Hill State People's Democratic Party and the National People's Party did not oppose the bill but raised questions on the state's preparedness to implement new tax regime.
Last year, the Assembly ratified the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014, officially known as the Constitution (101st Amendment) Act, 2016, related to the GST.
"Destination-based consuming states like Meghalaya will benefit from the GST implementation while certain manufacturing states will lose out marginally on revenue generation," Sangma told the assembly.
Under the new tax regime, he said staple foods like wheat and rice have been kept out of the ambit of the GST to help the common man.
He said the GST will remove the inherent weaknesses present in the current indirect taxation system.
With the Meghalaya assembly giving its approval, all the eight northeastern states have passed the GST bill.
The BJP-ruled Assam was the first to approve the bill. Arunachal Pradesh followed the next day.
Left-ruled Tripura, Congress-ruled Mizoram and the Sikkim Democratic Front-ruled Sikkim endorsed the state GST bill on May 25.
In Nagaland, this got passed on May 27 while Manipur approved it on June 5.
"Passing the GST Bill was mandatory to roll out the new indirect tax regime," Tripura Finance Minister Bhanulal Saha told reporters in Agartala.