June 19, 2017
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday passed the GST Bill to make a provision for levy and collection of uniform tax across the State amid a walkout by the DMK.
During the discussion, DMK Working President M.K. Stalin demanded that the State refer the bill to a select committee for reconsideration and hold it till then. When his demand was not considered, Stalin and his party MLAs staged a walk out from the Assembly.
Earlier during the debate, Finance Minister D. Jayakumar said the Centre has considered Tamil Nadu’s request for several amendments. “Considering all this, the State has proposed to pass the bill,” he added.
Earlier, during the GST Council meeting in Delhi, Jayakumar said that Tamil Nadu was approaching the finish line of the preparatory phase and the starting block of the implementation phase. “The days to come are sure to throw up great challenges,” he had said.
Several leaders, including former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Stalin, had on several occasions opposed the bill saying it compromised the autonomy of the States in fiscal matters.
Jayalalithaa also wrote several letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to make several amendments to the bill before passing it in the Parliament.
Minister for Commercial Taxes K.C. Veeramani, who tabled the bill, said the proposed legislation would simplify and harmonise the indirect tax regime in the State.
“It is expected to reduce cost of production and inflation in the economy thereby making the trade and industry more competitive,” he said, adding due to the seamless transfer of input tax credit from one stage to another in the chain of value addition, there is an in-built mechanism in the design of goods and services tax that would incentivise tax compliance by taxpayers.
The Government of Tamil Nadu levies tax on retail sales in the form of value added tax, tax on entry of goods and motor vehicles in the state in the form of entry tax, luxury tax, entertainment tax, purchase tax and advertisement tax.