Finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday expressed confidence about the early implementation of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) that seeks to stitch together a common national market, by dismantling fiscal barriers among states.
“I will meet Sushil Modi, the chairman of the empowered committee of state finance ministers on October 22... thereafter I have asked a meeting with the entire empowered committee, and I am confident that with these two meetings and perhaps one more meeting if necessary, we will be able to resolve all the issues concerning GST,” said Chidambaram. “And once the state finance ministers are on board and all of us have agreed on what needs to be done, the passage of the GST Bill in Parliament should be easy.”
A Constitution Amendment Bill for implementing GST was introduced in Parliament in March 2011, paving the way for the introduction of GST. At present, the Central and state governments tax goods and services independently. If adopted, GST can alter tax administration by giving a one-shot solution to a welter of levies such as excise, value-added tax and octroi.
The implementation of GST has missed several deadlines awaiting consensus on contentious issues including the central sales tax (CST). The CST is collected by the Centre and distributed among states. Modi had sought PM’s intervention to resolve the compensation issue on CST.