Chhattisgarh Assembly passes GST Bill, becomes fifth state to do so

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The Chhattisgarh Assembly on Monday unanimously ratified the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill becoming the fifth state to pass the bill. Earlier today, Himachal Pradesh state assembly too passed the Bill unanimously.

Before Chhattisgarh, Himachal, Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar became the first four states to pass the bill. In New Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party government only last week said it will place the GST Bill for ratification before the Delhi Assembly during its 4-day session beginning August 22 if it receives official communication about the Bill from the Centre.

Meanwhile, the state assembly of Gujarat convened special sessions to ratify the Bill that was passed by Parliament earlier this month.

The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill for the roll-out of the Goods and Sevices Tax (GST) was passed by the Lok Sabha earlier in August, with 443 members present in the House voting in favour of the legislation. Arun Jaitley had, earlier in August, announced that the deadline for the rollout of the bill was April 1, 2017.

The GST bill, seen as single biggest tax reform in a long time, needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before the President can notify the GST council which will decide the new tax rate and other issues.

The government had been working overtime to get states on board over the GST following the passage of the bill in Parliament. It is keen to bring two bills aimed at implementing the new tax regime in the winter session to meet the April 2017 deadline for its rollout.

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