Shillong,June 12: The Meghalaya Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2017 was unanimously passed by the Meghalaya Assembly during its special session on Monday.
Minister in-charge Excise, Registration, Taxation and Stamps, Zenith Sangma while replying to queries from members in the House, said that though the Centre had earlier stated that the GST would be roll out from July 1, but so far, no official communication has come from the Centre in this regard.
“The implementation of GST from July 1, would be confirmed in the next meeting of the GST Council on June 18,” the Minister said.
According to the Minister, consumer states like Meghalaya would benefit immensely once the GST is implemented while producing states will lose out marginally.
“Once GST is implemented, it would help in substantial increase in revenue for the state government, and broaden the tax base while decreasing prices of commodities for common people,” Zenith said, while describing GST a “destination based consumption tax” in which revenue from inter-state transactions would also go to the consuming state.
He however said that states that lost their revenue after the implementation of GST would be compensated by the Central government and the year 2015-16 will be the base year for calculating the revenue of a state.
“The growth rate of 14 per cent will be used for calculating the revenue of each state in the first five years of the implementation of GST. If the growth of a state is below 14 per cent, the GST Council will compensate such state. The loss of revenue to a state will be the difference between the actual realisation to a state under GST regime, and the tax revenue it would have got under the old indirect tax regime after considering a 14 per cent increase over the base year of 2015-16,” Zenith informed.
Earlier Opposition MLAs asked the Minister to clarify some issues related to problems likely to be faced by the state government while implementing the GST in view of the poor internet connectivity, as well as the merits and demerits of GST.