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Odisha assembly passes GST Bill

Items exempted from GST include liquor, petrol, diesel, narcotics and rectified spirit

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 


The legislative assembly on Friday passed the Goods & Services (GST) Bill, 2017 and the Value Added (VAT) Bill, 2017, preparing the ground for transition to the new taxation regime.

Both the Bills were unanimously passed in the assembly through a voice vote. Though all political parties backed the Bill, the Opposition questioned the haste in its passage. The had moved a Cut Motion to refer the Bill to a select committee of the house, asking for more time to debate on its various provisions. The motion was, however, rejected.

"This is a very important and sensitive Bill. It took 11 years for the Parliament to pass the Bill. The legislators have not gone through the Bill or understood it. More time should have been set aside to discuss and debate its detail. The Bill has 174 clauses that needs careful attention. There is a lack of clarity on whether stands to benefit or lose from the introduction of GST," said senior leader and Leader of the Opposition Narasingha Mishra.

After the enactment of the Bill, a wide gamut of items would come under its purview. Liquor and petroleum products would however, remain out of GST's ambit. The goods that would be exempted from the new regime include liquor, petrol, diesel, narcotics and rectified spirit. On these products, the state government would levy at the rate of 20 per cent.

The two Bills were passed following a debate among the legislators at a two-day special session of the state assembly convened on May 18 and 19.

"The proposed will simplify harmonise the indirect regime in the country. It is expected to reduce cost of production and inflation in the economy, thereby making the Indian trade and industry more competitive. Due to the seamless transfer of input credit from one stage to another in the chain of value addition, there is an in-built mechanism in the design of the that would incentivise compliance by taxpayers", said the state's finance minister, Shashi Bhushan Behera.