FM moves GST bill in LS

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday set the stage for the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)—the most ambitious tax reform proposal in recent years —even as several states said that common ground was yet to be reached. The indirect tax reforms are aimed at streamlining the movement of goods across India with asingle tax structure by abolishing the current multiple tax system comprising central excise, state VAT and service tax, which add up to over 30%. The GST was scheduled to be introduced from April 2010. However, the Centre failed to build a consensus with Opposition-ruled states. The GST will not cover petroleum products and alcohol but will allow the Centre to levy taxes on supply of goods in inter-state trade. In case of all other goods and services, there will be separate levies for the Centre and the states, which together would add up to 16%. Mukherjee moved a Constitution Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha, which among other things, provides for the constitution of a GST Council consisting of the finance minister as chairman, and a vice-chairman to be elected from among the FMs of states, who will be members of the council. The Union minister of state for revenue will also be a member of the council.

No comments: