Though the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill has been tabled in the Lok Sabha, the Gujarat government today said in the Sate Assembly that it was not ready to implement it.
Minister of State for Industries, Saurabh Patel, told the House that Sate government was not prepared to implement GST as it would take away State’s autonomy in taxation and inflict revenue-loss of over Rs. 3,000 Crore.
“It is not just the BJP—ruled states which are opposing the implementation of GST, even the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has refused to implement it,” Mr. Patel said during a debate on budgetary demands of Finance Department.
Citing a report of the National Institute of Public Financial Policy, released in December last year, Mr. Patel said Gujarat would incur a loss of over Rs 3,000 crore upon implementation of GST, while the loss to the country was pegged at over Rs 31,000 crore.
“We had suggested to the Centre that Information Technology (IT) infrastructure should be put in place before the roll-out of GST, otherwise it cannot be implemented,” Mr. Patel said.
He claimed that 25 meetings with the Centre so far had failed to resolve the objections raised by the States.
“GST roll-out will be beneficial for luxury products, while the tax on essential goods like wheat, cotton, cumin, handicrafts is likely to go up, hurting the common man,” Mr. Patel said.