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Govt to vigorously pursue roadmap for GST: President
June, 04th 2009

Committed to bringing tax reforms to create a common market, the government today said the roadmap for adopting Goods and Services Tax, which will replace major indirect taxes at the central and state levels, will be "vigorously" pursued.

"The roadmap for moving towards a Goods and Services Tax will be vigorously pursued," President Pratibha Patil said in her address to joint session of Parliament.

GST, which will replace excise duty and service tax at the Centre and VAT at the state-level, is scheduled to be introduced in the beginning of the next fiscal.

The consultations between the Centre and VAT panel, which represents states, on the structure and rates of GST, are on.      Earlier during the week, VAT panel Chairman Asim Dasgupta had said state finance ministers will meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee around mid-June on various issues relating to the new tax system.

"I am very happy to know that the Union Finance Minister would be having interactions with state finance ministers on many matters, including GST, and so it will be in the middle of this month we will have the meeting on the GST," Dasgupta had said.

Right now, only broad structure of GST has been agreed upon between the Union Government and states.

It has been agreed that the new tax system would have two structures, one at the state level and another at the Centre.

However, its exact rate and items to be brought under it still remain to be decided. Also, legislative action would have to be completed after an agreement is reached between the Centre and states on various aspects of GST.

Before GST is introduced, its draft structure would be put on the website and interactions would be held with traders and industry to incorporate any changes in the final tax system, Dasgupta had said.

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