Jammu and Kashmir now remains the only state yet to pass the GST Bill ahead of the July 1 launch of the pan-India tax regime as Kerala approved the legislation on Wednesday. “All states and union territories, except Jammu and Kashmir, have approved the SGST Act and are ready for the smooth roll-out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) with effect from July 1,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
Kerala issued an ordinance on Wednesday approving the State GST Act while West Bengal had issued the relevant ordinance on June 15. “Thus, almost the entire country, including 30 states and union territories, is now on board and ready for the GST,” the Finance Ministry said.
Reminiscent of India’s tryst with destiny at the mid- night of August 14-15, 1947, Parliament’s historic Central Hall will host an hour-long function on the intervening night of June 30-July 1 to mark the GST kick-off. President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda, apart from Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, will be present in the function.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday said that if any state keeps out, both its traders and consumers will suffer loss. “Because they will not get the benefit of input tax, they will have to pay tax twice and the consumers will get materials which are costlier than the rest of the country. Also, compensation package won’t be given to states who do not implement GST,” Jaitley said.
(With PTI inputs)