Delhi’s AAP government may be among first few states to ratify GST bill


The AAP government is all set to place the GST Bill for ratification before the Delhi Assembly during its four-day session beginning August 22 as the Centre aims to get the legislation cleared by at least half of the 29 states to roll out the new tax regime.

The AAP government has already made it clear that it is in favour of Goods and Services Tax, which would subsume a number of indirect central and state levies.

Sources in the city administration said the assembly will clear the bill if an official communication is received from the Centre before the start of session.

The GST bill, seen as single biggest tax reform in a long time, needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before the President can notify the GST council which will decide the new tax rate and other issues.

The Centre is counting on 13 NDA-ruled states to ratify the legislation at the earliest, besides eyeing some other opposition-ruled states so it can initiate steps to roll out the GST by April next year.

The Lok Sabha passed the GST bill today, while Rajya Sabha had cleared it last week.

A meeting of the Cabinet presided over by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia decided to convene the assembly from August 22-26.

“The decision to convene the session of Delhi Assembly from August 22 to 26 was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia,” said a senior government official.

There will be no sitting of the Assembly on August 25 on the occasion of ‘Janmashtmi’.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is currently undergoing a ‘vipassana session’ in Dharmsala and government’s agenda for the session is likely to be finalised once he resumes work on August 12.

The government is also expected to table a proposal in the assembly to do away with luxury tax on hotel rooms having rent up to Rs 1,500.

As per the existing Delhi Tax on Luxuries Act (1996), any person, who stays in a hotel room whose tariff is Rs 750 per day or above, has to pay luxury tax.

“We have recently sent the proposal for doing away with luxury tax on hotel room with a rate of Rs 1,500 per night. If the Lt Governor gives his nod to proposal, it will then be tabled in the House for approval,” an official said.