Northern states Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, and the Union Territory of Chandigarh on Thursday agreed on implementing a uniform tax structure (UTS) to curb evasion and smuggling in the region.
The decision came at a high-level meeting in Delhi, attended by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal; Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa; Haryana finance minister Captain Abhimanyu; Himachal Pradesh finance minister Parkash Chaudhary; and UT adviser Vijay Dev, a spokesman here has said. The states also decided to form a common economic intelligence unit to catch smugglers and tax evaders.
Uniform taxation will apply to petroleum, tobacco and automobile products, besides white goods (heavy consumer durables) specifically. The strategy will be adopted formally after the recommendations of a coordination committee comprising taxation secretaries of these states.
Sukhbir suggested including more goods and items under the common tax structure ambit. He said a high-level coordination committee would meet next week to work on the lacunas in excise policies. The states decided to invite Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir to join the initiative.