Mumbai: A three-day special session of the Maharashtra Legislature to discuss and ratify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2017, to pave the way for the national roll-out of GST on July 1, will begin here today. The draft Maharashtra GST Bill, approved by the state cabinet, will be tabled during the session. The bill seeks to protect financial powers and autonomy of local self-government
bodies in the state. The Assembly proceedings will begin at 11 am today, a Vidhan Bhawan official said. A condolence motion will be moved in the Assembly to pay tributes to former minister A T Pawar and former MLAs Yashwant Patil and Dayaram Kapgate. In the Legislative Council, a condolence motion will be moved to mourn the demise of former MLC Gajendra Ainapure.
Maharashtra had ratified the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill in August 2016. On April 6, Parliament passed four GST bills which now have to be ratified by all states to enable the shift to GST on July 1. BJP’s bickering ally Shiv Sena had expressed reservations on the GST, arguing that the introduction of a single tax across the country would nullify local taxes like octroi duty that the civic bodies collect. The Sena had pointed out that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which it rules, may lose nearly Rs 7,000 crore on account of octroi getting subsumed after the introduction of GST. The draft GST Bill passed by the state cabinet has a provision to compensate the BMC and other local bodies for the loss of their sources of revenue. In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, BJP has 122 members and Shiv Sena 63.
An official said the GST introduction would lead to abolition of several state taxes like sugar purchase tax, state’s share in central sales tax, entry tax on vehicles and goods manufactured in other states, lottery tax, octroi and local body tax.
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