New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram will meet members of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Thursday to sort out issues concerning implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
"Finance Minister will meet state FMs on Thursday to discuss GST implementation," a senior official said.
Last month Chidambaram held discussions with the Sushil Modi, who is the Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers as well as Bihar Deputy Chief Minister.
After the meeting, Modi had expressed hope that the States and the Centre would be able to reach a consensus in next two to three meetings.
"Many of the issues on which there was confrontation between the Centre and states, there is convergence now... I think in next two or three more meetings we will able to sort out differences between Centre and states (on GST implementation)," he had said.
GST, which will empower the Centre and states to simultaneously tax supply of goods and services, was to be introduced from April 2010 and has missed several deadlines.
The Bill is currently being vetted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. The committee had raised certain queries to which the revenue department has already responded. The report of the committee is awaited.
Chidambaram had earlier exuded confidence that the Centre will be able to resolve all issues concerning GST so that the new indirect tax regime could be rolled out from April 2013.
Issues related to GST network (GSTN) and matter of further Central Sales Tax (CST) compensation are cause of delay in the implementation of the GST.
CST is collected by the Centre and distributed among states. As a pre-cursor to GST, Centre and States in April, 2007, had agreed to phase out CST over a period of three years and in line CST rate was reduced to 3 percent and then to 2 percent. The Centre had already compensated states for losses up to 2010-11.
As the Centre refused to go on compensating the states for delay in implementation of GST, states had argued that when it was decided to phase out CST, it was presumed GST would be implemented from April, 2010.
Recently, Modi had sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to resolve the compensation issue.
States have also suggested that they should be allowed to restore the CST rate to four percent in case the central government was not able to pay any further compensation.
Moreover, states are also raising issues relating to dispute settlement mechanism and exclusion of certain products from the GST system.


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