Business Standard: August 12, 2016
Finance Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted on Friday morning that Assam has become the first state to ratify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) constitution amendment Bill. It was the last day of Assam’s ongoing legislative assembly session, its first full session after the new Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government was sworn in after the assembly polls in May.
“Proud that Assam is the First state to ratify historic GST Bill, which promises to transform India,” Sarma tweeted at 12 in the afternoon. In another tweet, Sarma said: “Happy to share that Assam assembly has unanimously ratified the GST Bill.”
Apart from Assam, BJP ruled Goa also has an assembly session that ends today. BJP and ally Shiv Sena ruled Maharashtra government has also been requested by senior union ministers to postpone proroguing the assembly session that was scheduled to end on August 5.
The GST constitution amendment Bill needs to be ratified by at least 16 of the 31 state assemblies, including the assemblies of Union Territories Delhi and Puducherry. It would receive a presidential assent when that is done and the empowered committee of finance ministers would turn into the GST Council to draft the subsequent Central GST, Integrated GST and State GST Bills.
Apart from the above three states, Bihar has promised a special session while West Bengal and Delhi could ratify the Bill at their respective assembly sessions at the end of the month.
The Union Government is keen that the requisite 16 states ratify the Bill for the subsequent Bills to be tabled in Parliament in the winter session to enable a rollout of GST by April 1, 2017. However, Congress and Left leaders believe the April 1 deadline to be unrealistic given that much of GST related infrastructure isn’t ready yet.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.