The Assemblies of Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh ratified the Goods and Services Tax Bill on Monday, reported ANI. The Virbhadra Singh-helmed state is the fourth state to do so, while the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh is the fifth state to give its go-ahead to the Bill.
With the Congress in power, Himachal Pradesh is the second non-BJP state after Bihar to ratify the Bill that will pave way for a new indirect tax regime. "Himachal Pradesh, which is a consumer state, will be benefited by the bill. It will help in boosting trade and commerce once it was implemented in the country. All trade and commerce bodies in the state have hailed the bill," the chief minister said, according to The Indian Express.
The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on August 3. The Narendra Modi government needs at least 16 states in the country to approve the Bill for it to move to the next step in the process, which is implementation of the single national tax regime across the nation. The Centre plans to roll out the new system on April 1, 2017. Delhi and Bihar have already promised to support the Bill. The Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi is expected to pass the Bill next week. Of the 29 states in the country, the BJP is in power in 11 states, either with a majority or through an alliance with regional parties.