Delhi Assembly passes state GST Bill

Despite the drama in the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday, the House passed the state Goods and Services Tax Bill ahead of its national rollout on July 1.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 31, 2017 9:00 pm
Delhi Assembly, GST Bill, Kapil Mishra, Arvind Kejriwal Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra talks with newsmen after he was roughed up by party legislators and dragged out of the Delhi Assembly by marshals, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

Despite the drama in the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday, the House passed the state Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill ahead of its national rollout on July 1. Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, who had adjourned the House after a scuffle broke out between AAP MLAs and sacked water minister Kapil Mishra, convened it for 15 minutes during which the Bill was passed.

“This House is in support of GST in principle but this House opposes the way in which tax rates of 18 and 28% in GST Council meetings,” the resolution read. “This House proposes that GST tax rates or any Good and Service should not be more than 10%… 5% should belong to states and 5% to the Centre,” the AAP tweeted.

Ahead of the session, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said that while the government will pass the Bill as it supports the intent behind the tax reform, it is concerned about the existing taxation structure and would oppose it in the GST Council. There is need for a ‘less complex structure, lower taxes’ for ‘increased compliance’, he had told reporters in a press conference on Tuesday.

During the legislative session on Wednesday, Kapil Mishra, who was previously suspended from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), held up a banner alleging corruption charges against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal which riled other AAP members who lunged towards him and dragged him in the House. This prompted the Speaker to have him marshalled out. Goel criticised the AAP MLAs for their unruly behaviour, saying the incident as “unfortunate” and “deeply disturbing”.

Read: Kapil Mishra, AAP MLAs clash inside Delhi Assembly. Read more here.

Speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Mishra had said, “I was not allowed to speak. The moment I attempted to speak, four to five AAP MLAs started hitting me. It is perhaps for the first time that MLAs have been used to muffle a dissenting voice inside the House.” Mishra had also alleged that the incident was carried out after MLAs, including Madan Lal and Jarnail Singh were ‘prompted’ by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

The AAP suspended Mishra earlier this month after he levelled corruption allegations against Kejriwal. He cited numerous instances; he alleged Kejriwal interfered in the water tanker scam investigations, that he took money from state health minister Satyendra Jain, he said there are ‘massive financial irregularities’ within the party, and that AAP laundered money using shell companies.

(With inputs from PTI)

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