Kolkata (West Bengal), Aug 23 ANI | 3 months ago

Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley today labeled the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a priority area for him during his visit to the state.

Speaking to the media after his meeting with the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and state Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, Jaitley said, "The central and the state governments need to discuss on many issues; therefore for me the priority issue is about Goods and Services Tax. Today I met with the West Bengal chief minister along with the state finance minister, we had discussed about the GST, which West Bengal government has always accepted in principle."

In his Budget speech, Jaitley had reportedly said: "I do hope we are able to find a solution in the course of this year and approve the legislative scheme which enables the introduction of GST" while assuring all states that Centre will be "more than fair in dealing with them".

The proposed GST will subsume indirect taxes like excise duty and service tax at the central level and VAT on the states' front, besides local levies.

The GST Constitutional Amendment Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2011, has lapsed and the NDA government will be required to come up with a fresh bill.

According to media reports, Jaitley has said the government will try to bring in the new GST Bill in the Winter session of Parliament.

Airing his views on the issues raised by the West Bengal government in the meeting, Jaitley added, "There are other developmental projects of West Bengal, where centre government's active participation and assistance is required; the state government has raised those issues with me. Also issues relating to the financing of the states. Amounts due to the state government from the centre and the discussions have been around those issues of finance. Certainly the chief minister has also given me a letter of the outstanding amounts under various schemes, which the state is entitled to."

"The state finance minister would be coming to Delhi; we will call the concerned departments handling those schemes, so that those dues of the Bengal government could be looked into," he further added.

(Posted on 24-08-2014)

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