Goa assembly ratifies GST bill in special session

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Panaji, Aug 31: The Goa legislative assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution ratifying the Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2016, as passed by parliament during its monsoon session. This paves the way for the presidential assent to the bill.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said that Goa state assembly is the 15th to ratify the GST bill. With this, the required 50 per cent of states have passed the bill, paving the way for a presidential assent.

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The bill was passed by the Goa assembly during a specially convened one-day session. In a two-hour long discussion, legislators raised concerns over the possible revenue hit the state would have to face.

Goa is primarily a service sector-oriented state and not a manufacturing one.

Parsekar, however, allayed apprehensions and said that the state will benefit as cheaper services will bring in more tourists.

He said: "We stand to gain around Rs 1,000 crore per year. With the ease of doing business rising, businesses will expand and growth rate will improve. Our share in central taxes will grow and we will get 50 per cent of service tax and other central taxes."

Earlier, several opposition leaders while supporting the Constitution amendment bill had raised concerns over the increasing dependence of the state on the Centre, as well as over the revenue shortfall expected.

Independent legislator Rohan Khaunte said: "Our dependency on the Centre will increase. Has the government taken all these into consideration? I strongly recommend and demand a White Paper on cost-benefit analysis of the GST with regard to Goa."

Others were all praise for the NDA government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for pushing the legislation through.

IANS

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