Law  Kumar Mishra

Patna: Bihar became the first non-NDA ruled state on Tuesday to ratify the 122nd Constitution (Amendment) Bill for introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act all over the country. Assam, the first state to ratify the Bill, is a BJP ruled state.

CMNitish Kumar while replying to the debate said he had supported the GST when UPA government had introduced it in the Parliament though at that time he was in the NDA. Now, when he is with the UPA but has again supported it, Nitish said and reminded the BJP they had opposed the GST when UPA had introduced it in Lok Sabha. It was because of the oppsotion of the BJP that the BIll could not be passed since 2006.

Nitish said the then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had set up Kelkar committee to suggest tax reforms and GST was outcome of the committee report. Nitish said he had nominated his the then deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, though he was in BJP, to head the high power committee of finance ministers on GST despite reservations from te non- BJP ruled states’ finance ministers. Since he believed GST would benefit the consumer states too,he had been supporting GST.

Nitish said the GST will help create a uniform common market in the country because of uniform tax pattern. Now, the states will also get powers to collect service tax, which is till now a prerogative of the Centre only. The GST will help prevent tax evasion too,Nitish hoped.

Leader of opposition Prem Kumar said economic disparity between the states would ease and Bihar will also have Achche Din(better days) ahead. Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh supported the amendment,but Mehboob Alam of the CPI(ML) opposed it .

A special session of the Bihar assembly was convened on Tuesday for passage of the Bill. The House adopted the resolution with voice vote.

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