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Uttar Pradesh Assembly passes GST Bill, CM Yogi calls it a revolutionary move

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed the U.P. Goods and Service Tax Bill, 2017. The Bill, which was on May 15, 2017, tabled in the Vidhan Sabha, was passed unanimously on May 16, 2017, through a voice vote with the Opposition not pressing for sending it to the select committee.

Initiating the discussion on the Bill, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath termed it as revolutionary move which is in the interest of both consumers and traders.

“The GST Bill is the result of the Modi government’s move towards wider economic reforms,” he said, adding that it will bring uniformity in the tax structure.

Participating in the debate, Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary suggested sending the bill to the select committee for wider scrutiny.

Nitin Agarwal and Sanjay Garg (SP), Uma Shankar Singh (BSP) and Ajay Kumar Laloo (Congress) raised doubts over certain provisions in the measure and demanded that small traders be exempted from it. However, they were all in favour of the Bill.

Members of the Opposition parties said that filing of returns online three times a month would be cumbersome and suggested monetary fine in place of jail term for those who do not comply with it.

In his reply, the Chief Minister allayed their fears, giving point-by-point clarification.

“The doubts of the members over lack of computer knowledge has been taken care of... It will benefit small traders,” he said, adding that the Centre will compensate for the loss of revenue to States with the GST coming into effect.

“There is no need to be afraid of the GST... all non-BJP ruled States have also passed it. For redressing their problems, the GST Council is going to hold its meeting soon,” the Chief Minister said.

Chaudhary said there had been some doubts over the Bill which had kept it pending for so long, but after Adityanath said there was no need to worry, the Bill was passed unanimously.

The session was convened especially for the introduction and passage of the GST Bill with the Narendra Modi government keen on rolling out the indirect tax regime from July 1.