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Yet to take a final call on GST
September, 10th 2010

Despite its opposition, the BJP-ruled Uttarakhand is yet to take a final call on the controversial Goods and Service Tax (GST) which is expected to come into force next year.

A government official told Media that the state government is taking an expert opinion in order to take a final decision on the GST, a bone of contention between the BJP ruled states and the centre.

The official, however, remained tightlipped whether Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who is vehemently opposing the GST mainly on the plank of states financial autonomy, would change his opinion in case the experts favour the GST. See Uttarakhand is basically a consumers state not an industrial one.

A preliminary assessment shows that the GST will not harm the interests of the state as it is being projected. Secondly, let the expert opinion comes, we will taka a final call, said the official.

Uttarakhand is opposing the GST saying the state was not in agreement with the proposed amendments in the present form as there is hardly any provision for safeguarding the financial autonomy of the states particularly for newly states like Uttarakhand. In a letter to the central empowered committee on GST, the hill state wants to hold talks with stake holders on the issue. Under the new GST regime, the state also seeking to retain its hold for imposing tax on at least 10 items.

The Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank is of the view that the state should be empowered in such a way that it can financially support itself in case of an emergency.

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