The Haryana Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, was passed unanimously by the state Assembly here today in a special one-day session convened for the purpose. With the passage of the Bill, Haryana became the eighth state to pass the legislation as the Centre gears up to roll out the new indirect tax regime nationwide from July.
The Bill was passed after nearly one hour of discussion. Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu moved the bill which was supported by the two major opposition parties – the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Congress.
The GST Council, the top decision making body headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, had earlier approved a model SGST Bill at its 12th Meeting on March 16 this year. Capt Abhimanyu, who also talked to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over phone this evening informing him about the passage of the Bill, hailed the Goods and Services Tax as a path-breaking reform in taxation history.
The Haryana Finance Minister said it will knit the entire country into a single market by ironing out distortions, put an end to skewed and dissimilar tax practices, and make the atmosphere for trade and industry a lot easier. He told the Assembly that the new tax would subsume 17 different types of indirect taxes of Centre and states and do away with multiplicity of taxes.“Amalgamation of various indirect taxes into single tax will not only lead to simplification of the indirect taxation regime in the country but also pare down considerably the compliance cost to the taxpayers,” he said.
As the Bill was taken up for being passed, opposition INLD demanded that the House to first take up discussion on SYL issue. The party wanted Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to tell the House what transpired between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the former met him in Delhi recently and took up various issues including SYL with him. However, Speaker Kanwar Pal assured the opposition members that the Chief Minister will give reply on SYL issue, after which the SGST Bill was taken up for discussion.
Senior Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal told the House that Centre has assured to compensate the State for any loss of revenue for five years, but sought to know if there was a provision to compensate the states beyond that time.“What will be the overall benefit or loss to Haryana with the implementation of the GST regime…A House Committee should also be formed that will watch Haryana’s interests,” Dalal said.
However, Abhimanyu assured that Haryana’s interests will be protected under the new tax regime. He said that most contents of the Bill presented here were the same as had been passed by the Parliament.The GST would take the feature of Value Added Tax (VAT) from state boundaries to national level and it is a destination-based tax, Abhimanyu said. The threshold limit under GST has been fixed at Rs 20 lakh which is currently Rs 5 lakh in Haryana.
“It is my privilege to be a part of the process for bringing about this historical and far-reaching reform in the indirect taxation system of the country.“The structure of GST has evolved through extensive discussions and deliberations, first under the aegis of the Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers, and, thereafter, through combined efforts of the Centre and state governments in the GST Council,” he said.
The Centre and states joined hands to hammer out a structure of GST resolving all contentious issues through consensus in the true spirit of cooperative federalism in the country, he told the House.“It is a matter of great honour and pride for me to have been deeply associated with the progress of GST in various forums,” he added. Small and medium-scale taxpayers have been given the option of composition. The taxpayers having an aggregate turnover of less than Rs 50 lakh, are eligible to opt for composition scheme.
The taxpayers opting the composition scheme under GST shall have to file one quarterly return. Abhimanyu, who also holds the Excise and Taxation Department portfolios, said, traders under composition scheme would be required to pay tax at the rate of half per cent under the State GST and half per cent under the CGST.
The manufactures will have to pay at the rate of one per cent and taxpayers serving foods (restaurateurs) will be paying at the rate of 2.5 per cent under the composition scheme of GST.The composition scheme is not available to the tax payers engaged in the business of inter-state supplies or providing supplies of services except (restaurateurs). No input tax credit shall be admissible to a composition taxpayer, he said.Capt Abhimanyu said the GST would go a long way in doing away with the ‘Inspector raj’ as there will be a minimal interface between the taxpayers and the authorities.
State taxes that would be subsumed under the GST are: State VAT, Central Sales Tax, Luxury Tax, Entry Tax in lieu of octroi, Entertainment Tax (not levied by the local bodies), taxes on advertisements, purchase tax, taxes on lotteries, betting and gambling(THE INDIAN EXPRESS,2017).