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Goa Assembly ratifies GST Bill

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The Goa Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution ratifying the amendments to the Constitution to pave the way for the Presidential assent to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2016.

Pointing out that Goa is the 15th State to ratify the Bill, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said with the move, the required 50 per cent of the States have now passed it.

The resolution was passed at a specially convened one-day session after a two-hour discussion, where legislators raised concerns over the possible revenue loss the State could face in view of the fact that Goa is primarily a service-oriented State and not a manufacturing destination.

Mr. Parsekar, however, sought to allay apprehensions, saying the tourist State, being a consumption destination, will benefit from the GST.

‘Tax share will grow’

“With the ease of doing business improving considerably due to a taxation reform like GST, businesses will expand and our growth rate will increase. Our share in Central taxes will grow and we will get 50 per cent of service tax and other Central taxes. Goa will largely benefit as cheaper services will bring in more tourists,” Mr. Parsekar said, claiming that the State’s revenue could go up by around Rs.1,000 crore.

Earlier, while supporting the resolution, Opposition MLAs raised concerns over the increasing dependence on the Centre the State may have to face. They also expressed apprehensions over revenue decline.

Demanding a white paper on cost-benefit analysis of the GST, independent MLA Rohan Khavte said: “Our dependence on the Centre will increase. Has the government taken all these into consideration?”

However, allaying fears over revenue decline, Mr. Parsekar assured members that the State would retain the control of tax on petroleum products and excise on alcohol, besides major taxes like vehicle tax, royalty on minerals and stamp duty, the major revenue earners of the State.


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