Odisha Passes State GST Bill

The Odisha Goods and Services Tax Bill-2017 was passed in the special session of the state assembly on Friday.

The bill was unanimously passed by a voice vote even though the opposition demanded it be sent it to the select committee for further deliberation.

The assembly also passed the Odisha Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017 allowing the state to impose VAT on six items - five petroleum products and liquor.

Initiating a discussion on the bill, Finance Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera said the GST will unify at least 17 central and state taxes together and bring improvement in tax reforms.

He said products manufactured in the states as well as in the country could compete with products in the international market.

"GST will help extend tax network and bring improvement in the tax administration," Behera said.

Participating in the debate, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra suggested sending the bill to the select committee for wider scrutiny.

Bharatiya Janata Party legislature party leader K.V. Singhdeo meanwhile complimented the state government for bringing the GST Bill for passage in time to meet the goal of GST's nationwide implementation from July 1.

Several states including Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Gujarat and Arunachal Pradesh have already passed the state GST Bills.

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