New Delhi: Delhi Legislative Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, paving way for its roll out as per schedule on July 1.
Speaking to the media after the Assembly session, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal while hailing the new tax regime as a revolutionary one suggested that the tax slabs on certain products should be lowered, as such exorbitant rates will lead to inflation in the due course of time.
“In principle, we support the GST. However, there are still some doubts regarding its implementation. A 28 percent tax rate is too high and will fuel a sharp rise in the prices of commodities. This will also reduce the tax compliance, thus opposing the purpose of the new tax structure,” he said.
Kejriwal further said the tax should be made less than 10 percent, as suggested by various trade unions and other such bodies across the country.
“Two years ago, the Delhi government slashed tax rates from 12.5 percent to 5 percent. Tax collection increased from Rs. 32, 000 crore to Rs. 48, 000 crore in these two years. It is the responsibility of both the Centre and the states to ensure smooth implementation and tax reduction to less than ten percent,” he added.
Earlier, the Rajya Sabha passed four GST Bills without amendments setting the stage for the government for the launch on July 1.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the GST would lead to new tax regime.
The four bills passed on April 6 – the Central GST bill, the Integrated GST bill, the Union Territories GST bill and the compensation law – have already been cleared by the Lok Sabha , where the government enjoys majority.
Hailed as a ‘revolutionary’ tax regime, the GST is said to be India’s biggest tax overhaul since independence in 1947. It will replace a slew of federal and state levies, transforming Asia’s third largest economy into a single market. (ANI)