Sun, Oct 23, 2016 | updated 01:20 PM IST

Passage of GST as a major step for ease of doing business, says SMEV corporate chief

Updated: Aug 04, 2016 17:51 IST

New Delhi, Aug.4 (ANI): The passage of of the Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill in Parliament is a major step that will lead to ease of doing business in India, said Mr. Sohinder Gill, Director (Corporate Affairs) of the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles.

In a statement, Gill said, "It's a major step taken by the government as it intends to turn India into one common market which will lead to ease of doing business. Currently, the tax levied by state governments on green vehicles are varied between 0 to 5%, except three states i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Bihar which charges more than 14 percent. Road tax is almost nil in majority of the states. If we consider the average VAT levied on green vehicles across India it comes up to approximately four percent. Hence, we hope as the bill progresses the government should keep it either at par or at a lower rate than the current tax structure, for a certain period. If the government manages to do it, it will definitely revive the electric vehicle industry in India, otherwise it will nullify the FAME incentive being passed on to the customers under NEMMP for inducting more and more EVS on Indian roads."

He further said, "In addition to the tax rationalisation and work simplification, that everyone is talking about, we feel that GST will do its bit in impacting the environment in a positive way. The miles long queue of slow moving trucks at multiple toll barriers and checkpoints across Indian highways and consequent traffic jams lead to a significant rise in pollution. At many places trucks detour/divert to travel much longer to avoid the green tax/ entry taxes. This indirect benefit of GST of reducing crude oil consumption and cutting down emissions is in line with the NEMMP objective of inducting 6 million EVs on Indian roads in 6 years making India less reliant on crude imports and improving the air quality of our cities."

The GST Bill was approved by the Rajya Sabha with 203 votes in favour and none against, after a seven-hour debate during which a rare bonhomie was witnessed among the ruling and the opposition parties.

Six official amendments, including scrapping of one per cent additional tax, moved by the government were approved with cent per cent votes.

The bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha earlier. It will now go back to the Lower House to incorporate the amendments approved by the Rajya Sabha. The bill will also have to be approved by 50 per cent of all the state assemblies.

The AIADMK was the only party to oppose the measure and its members staged a walkout from the House to register their unhappiness over the bill which lays the ground for rollout of uniform GST regime that will subsume all indirect taxes including central excise duty and state VAT/sales tax. (ANI)