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Puducherry Assembly ratifies GST Bill amid Opposition protest

The Puducherry Assembly on Friday ratified the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill amid a walkout by AIADMK members and continuing boycott by opposition AINRC.

The House adopted a resolution tabled by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy for ratification of the bill, seen as the single biggest tax reform in decades. He asserted that steps had been taken to ensure that the new tax regime did not affect the Union Territory.

The bill, passed by Parliament, needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures.

As Narayanasamy tabled the resolution, AIADMK's legislature party leader A Anbalagan raised apprehensions that the GST Act would be "injurious" to the Union Territory.

He also said the government should have given time to the members before bringing in the resolution and led the walkout by four members of AIADMK.

All the eight members of opposition AINRC were also not present as they boycotted the Assembly proceedings since Wednesday last.

Earlier, Narayanasamy, leading the Congress government, said he had at a meeting of the Empowered Committee of all State Finance Ministers on GST, made out a strong case to protect the interests of Puducherry and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely had assured to take care of it.

He said Puducherry government would continue to have its right to levy service tax and also tax on liquor.

"We have taken care that the GST Bill does not inflict any hardship on Puducherry," Narayanaswamy said.

After the Chief Minister`s reply, Speaker V Vaithilingam announced that the resolution was passed "unanimously".
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