Kohima, May 28: Nagaland passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill at the Sixteenth special session of the 12th NLA which was held on Saturday. Chief Minister Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu highlighted the merits of GST to both the state government and the consumers.
Minister for Roads and Bridges Y Vikheho Swu explained the legislators about the benefits in implementing GST. Swu was engaged with the GST council and Goods and Service Tax Network (GSNT) in preparing for the smooth introduction and implementation with the rest of the country. He said if implemented properly, the GST will bring a number of benefits to the state such as benefits for trade and industry, benefit to the consumers, besides an increase in revenue generation for the state.
There will be a benefit to consumers because of the elimination of tax cascading, the production cost will fall and prices in general was likely to fall as a result goods and services will be made available to the consumers at the cheaper price, Minister added.
There was likely to be a revenue gain for the state and this was very important since the state must find ways to increase its internal revenue generation which will boost the ability of the state to spend on developmental works. However, there are challenges too, where the business community and the public will have to align with the new system in order to keep up with the change, Swu said.
He said state will get additional power to levy and collect tax on services and likewise the central will also have additional power to levy and collect tax on goods. He said GST will be supported with a robust IT system which will significantly induce prompt compliance by all the stakeholders and also bring transparency. Swu said GST will boost the overall efficiency of the tax system of the state and it will significantly improve the overall efficiency of the tax system of the state and by adding all these will be the efficient movement of goods. He said all the officers and staffs are trained at various levels and are now competent to implement GST and also to provide necessary assistance to the tax payers. On internet connectivity which was a concern for in some areas of the state he said the centre was in process of setting up a 100 Mbps satellite dedicated to the North East which will cater to connectivity issues in the remote areas.
Parliamentary secretary Tourism C.Apok Jamir opined that GST regime will create avenues for revenue generation for a state that is primarily a consumer state. Minster of School Education Yitachu said GST will rid of benami transactions which deprived the state of revenue. He said once implemented, GST will do away with such illegal practices.
On GST Nagaland Chief Minister Dr.Shürhozelie Liezietsü described it as a milestone for making tax administration in the state more effective and transparent and which would benefit consumers as a whole. He said GST would also increase tax collection and also guarantee that in the event of loss of revenue, the state would be compensated for the shortfall in collection by the Centre for the next five years for which the Revenue Act was already passed by parliament.