West Bengal government should consult all stakeholders on GST, says academic

| Updated: Aug 29, 2016 14:00 IST

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Aug.29 (ANI): Kolkata Jadavpur University Professor Omprakash Mishra on Monday said that the West Bengal government should consult all stakeholders on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Amendment Bill and not be hasty in approving its passage in the state assembly. "This entire matter needs to be deliberated. All stakeholders, people of West Bengal, they need to be consulted. The state government is in an unnecessary hurry, and, it seems that the logic is not all that right," Mishra told ANI. "So, therefore, we expect the government to take into account the people's point of view, the opinion, the perspectives from the historians, and only then, they should possibly table the Bill and pass it in the assembly. There is the stand of opposition parties, and we think that the state government should rather agree to it," Mishra added. Mishra was speaking ahead of a special session of the West Bengal State Assembly and after a meeting of the assembly's Business Advisory Committee. Trinamool Congress leader Nirmal Ghosh, however, said that the government is not taking up a discussion on the GST Bill during this special session because of "time constraints". Dilip Ghosh said he could not understand why the discussion on the Bill is being deferred, when it was agreed on August 18 that a special session of the West Bengal State Assembly would be called on August 29 to discuss and ratify this key draft legislation. The GST Bill seeks to introduce a single tax rate to replace India's current complicated and multiple tax regime, that includes levies such as excise duty, service tax, additional customs duties, value added tax, entertainment tax and so on. Once the GST is approved by all states, it will replace 17 indirect tax levies. Till Friday, nine state assemblies - Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Nagaland had adopted and ratified the resolution. The GST Bill, seen as single biggest tax reform in a long time, needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before President Pranab Mukherjee can notify the GST Council which will decide the new tax rate and other issues.(ANI)