Fill out vacancies before GST rollout: Maharashtra opposition

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MUMBAI: Maharashtra Opposition has raised questions on the state government’s preparedness to roll out Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1 in the state.

While speaking on the Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax, Act, 2017 in the legislative assembly on Sunday, the opposition said that the government is not ready to roll out GST from July, as there are many vacancies in the finance department which need to be filled before the new tax regime can be imposed.

Former finance minister Jayant Patil who spoke for nearly three hours took potshots at the government saying, “Once the central government stops giving compensation after five years, what are the sources of revenue that the government plans to explore to continue the compensation to the municipal corporations?” He also said that currently the government is reeling under a Rs 4 lakh crore debt which is going to increase in the due course of time. Public sector units (PSUs) of the state government are also reeling under a Rs 70,000 crore debt. “In such a situation is the government ready to cope with the revenue loss?” he asked.

Under the current rule, the central government will compensate the loss of revenue to the state government for only five years and the state government will compensate the municipal corporations in the state for an indefinite period of time.

Patil also said that there are some of the tax slabs which will make it difficult for the middle class to survive. “Currently, there is only 1% sales tax on new construction. Under GST, this taxation will go up to 18%. That means tbuying a house will become difficult for the middle class,” said Patil. Patil demanded that a committee of all the stakeholders be formulated in the state to monitor the implementation of GST and also study the impact on GST on the state and its revenue.

NCP leader Ajit Pawar said that the entire taxation system under GST will be computerized and the state government should ensure that all its employees who will be handling the system are well trained and can track and register each and every transaction.

The bill was not passed on Sunday and will be cleared by the assembly on Monday and sent to the legislative council.
In lighter vein
Patil asked why former minister Eknath Khadse met the opposition leaders in Jalgaon while they were on their Sangharash yatra. “Why did Khadse meet us and welcomed us while we were touring in their hometown in Jalgaon? What was the reason?” said Patil. To which Khadse said, “I met you all, to know Katappa ne Baahubali ko kyu mara.” The entire assembly burst out into an applause at this answer.
Sudhir Mungantiwar, finance minister, said, “Kapil Sharma has reasons to fear now. A comedian who can give him a run for his money is in the making in Jayant Patil. He spoke for 11,760 seconds and were all waiting for a some good points on the bill, but we were left disappointed,” said Mungatiwar.
Source: The Times of India

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