Guwahati: BJP ruled Assam on Friday became the first state to ratify the constitutional amendment bill on goods and services tax (GST) in the Assam assembly.
Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who tabled the bill on Friday told reporters, “Assam assembly has taken the lead in ratifying the historic GST bill.”
He said, “Assam will be benefited from the GST as it is expected to accelerate growth by one per cent besides better revenue collections.”
The new tax regime seeks to subsume all central indirect levies like excise duty, countervailing duty and service tax, as also state taxes such as value added tax, entry tax and luxury tax, to create a single, pan-India market.
Pointing out that alcohol, cigarette and petroleum products - the products that together contribute hugely to the state’s revenue has been kept out of GST, Mr Sarma said that once the GST council comes to existence, it would also be taking decision on tea.
The tea industry however was sceptical about the new tax regime. The industry has been pleading that tea is the common man’s beverage and, therefore, it should be put in the lowest slab of GST.
Sharma however said that he was not sure as to what the GST council is going to propose for the tea industry. “Let GST council be formed. We will certainly take up the issue if it is going to harm the interest of the industry,” he said that new GST regime would help in streamlining the tax structure of the country....