HP Assembly ratifies GST bill


    The Himachal Pradesh Assembly today unanimously ratified the Constitution Amendment bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was passed by the Parliament this month. The bill was introduced by Chief Minister Mr. Virbhadra Singh on the first day of five-day monsoon session that began today. It was ratified by the assembly without discussion and with thumping of benches, both by the treasury and the opposition BJP, in less than five minutes.

    The ruling Congress had already announced its support for the legislation. Just before the Constitutional Amendment bill was introduced, the BJP staged a walkout from the assembly over the purported remarks of the Chief Minister against them. They were demanding bringing of privilege motion against the remarks appeared in a section of the media.

    As Mr. Virbhadra Singh who also holds a finance portfolio, introduced the GST bill for ratification, the BJP members returned to the house. With this, the Hill State became the fourth after Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand to ratify the bill. Mr. Virbhadra Singh told the reporters that the GST bill was earlier brought by the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government in the Centre. “The present BJP government brought the same GST bill which was earlier brought by our government,” he said.

    Favouring the GST bill, the single biggest tax reform, Mr. Virbhadra Singh said it would help the trade, commerce and goods and services with its implementation. In the 68-member assembly, the Congress has a majority with 36 members. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 28 legislators. There are four independent legislators, who are now associate members of the Congress.

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    ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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