Govt stresses on GST consensus
New Delhi, Feb 28 : Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presenting the Union Budget in Lok Sabha on Thursday has expressed the hope that the consensus on providing for a Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime can be taken forward in the next few months so that a draft bill on the constitutional amendment and also a draft bill on GST can be tabled in the Lok Sabha.
In his Budget 2013-14 speech, Chidambaram said that his recent meetings with the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers has led him to believe that the State Governments, or at least the overwhelming majority, are agreed that there is need for a constitutional amendment and there is need for passing a GST law that will be drafted by the State Finance Ministers and the GST Council, as also there is need for the Centre to compensate the States for loss due to the reduction in the CST rate.
Chidambaram said that he proposes to take the first decisive step in this direction by setting apart in the 2013-14 Budget a sum of Rs. 9,000 crore towards the first installment of the balance of CST compensation.
The Finance Minister appealed to the State Finance Ministers to realize the serious intend of the Central Government to introduce GST; and come forward to work with the Union Government and bring about a transformational change in the tax structure of the country.
The tax proposals put forward by Chidambaram in his Budget 2013-14 will yield Rs. 13,300 crore on the direct taxes side and Rs. 4,700 crore on the indirect taxes side.