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PM pitches for simpler tax regime for processed foods

As the deadline of April 1, 2010, for introduction of proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) draws closer, PM Manmohan Singh has asked the states to work towards expeditious implementation of the new indirect tax system.

business Updated: Oct 06, 2009 21:11 IST

As the deadline of April 1, 2010, for introduction of proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) draws closer, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the states to work towards expeditious implementation of the new indirect tax system.

“The states should work towards early implementation of the Goods and Services Tax,” the Prime Minister said at the conference of state food processing ministers here on Tuesday.

He also asked the states to remove subjectivity in treatment and classification of food products. “Though primary agricultural commodities are mostly exempted from taxes, processed foods are subjected to multiple levies,” he said while pointing out that despite being a major food producer, India's share in the global processed food trade is less than two per cent.

The Centre and the states are yet to reach at an agreement for goods and services to be included in the GST regime. The decision on a lower levy on food products and exemption to some of them is also yet to be taken.

GST will do away with most of central indirect taxes like excise and service tax level, and VAT as well as subsume local levies like octroi and purchase tax at the state level.