Tamil Nadu, Punjab assemblies pass GST bill
The Goods and services tax bill were adopted by Tamil Nadu and Punjab state assemblies on Monday. With 11 days to go before the rollout for GST, two more states passed the GST bills paving way for its implementation.
In Punjab, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2017, was passed unanimously. Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal introduced the Bill in the House. Before passing the bill former finance minister and SAD leader Parminder Singh Dhindsa, AAP leader Kanwar Sandhu and BJP MLA Som Prakash were allowed to speak on it. AAP's Sandhu expressed concerns related to an increase in the price of agriculture inputs and equipment under the GST regime because of high tax rates and added that regional cinema would take a hit. SAD leader Dhindsa pushed for zero tax rate on agriculture inputs and stated that denying the same would make Punjab farmers suffer.
In Tamil Nadu, the GST bill was adopted amid opposition by the DMK. While state finance minister D Jayakumar assured traders and the general public that enough safeguards had been taken to protect them from the effect of the new tax regime, the DMK staged a walkout in opposition to the bill. DMK claimed that the bill had been introduced without consultations and demanded that it be sent to select committee. DMK accused the union government of not taking traders and other stakeholders into confidence before rolling out the tax regime.