TN Assembly passes GST Bill

The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday adopted the GST bill amid a walkout by the opposition DMK, which wanted it to be referred to a select committee and taken up later for discussion.

The Tamil Nadu Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 was later passed by a voice vote in the absence of the DMK, even as its allies Congress and IUML stayed back.

Leader of Opposition MK Stalin, while expressing his concerns, urged the government to forward the Bill to the consideration of a select committee for a detailed study. The enactment may be put off to a later date, he felt.

Opposition members including the Congress felt that the law will adversely impact small traders as the systems and procedures are complicated and the trade is not geared for compliance. The law provides for stringent penalties including imprisonment for non-compliance.

State finance minister D Jayakumar assured traders and general public that enough safeguards had been taken to protect them from the effect of the new tax regime.

He also claimed that the Centre had made several changes in the GST Amendment Bill, as “suggested by former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.” They changed included non-inclusion of alcohol and petrol and petroleum products in the purview of the GST, he claimed.