Billed as one of most comprehensive tax reforms initiative in independent India, the roadmap for implementing a countrywide goods and services tax (GST) regime has entered the final lap.
An Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers headed by West Bengal Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta will meet here on Thursday to discuss its implementation.
GST is proposed to be implemented from April, 2010.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has expressed hope that this would not be delayed.
After a meeting the state finance ministers, the government would in a better position to assess exact date for rolling out the tax structure, Mukherjee told CNBC-TV 18 in an interview.
The indirect tax system in India is currently mired in multi-layered taxes levied by the Centre and state governments at different levels in a supply chain, such as excise duty, octroi, central sales tax (CST), VAT and service tax among others.
It is expected that once the GST is implemented, these distortions would be eliminated, as most of these taxes would be subsumed by the single Goods and Services Tax.