New Delhi: The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST will meet on Saturday to discuss various issues related with the roll out of the ambitious indirect tax regime.
   
The meeting is expected to deliberate on steps for increasing the ambit of the service tax with a view to garner more resources.
   
The state Finance Ministers have decided on the negative list and are expected to sort out issues concerning definition of 'services' so that more economic activities could be brought under the tax net.
   
It is widely expected that in the Union Budget on March 16, the government is expected keep 22 services in the negative list and impose 10 percent tax on all other services.
   
A proper definition of services will help the government in imposing levy on more economic activities and also prevent tax-related disputes.
     
The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Goods and Services Tax (GST) in January this year had approved imposition of service tax based on a negative list.
     
At present, the tax is levied on 119 services. For the current fiscal, the Centre hopes to mop up Rs 82,000 crore from this levy.
     
Earlier, the chairman of the committee, Sushil Modi, had said that during the next meeting the ministers would also deliberate on development of Information Technology network for GST, headed by Nandan Nilekani.
   
On compensation for phasing out of Central Sales Tax (CST), he had said, "the Centre is refusing to give CST compensation for 2011-12. This issue will also be discussed and we will try to reach an amicable solution".
   
The Centre has agreed to release around Rs 6,394 crore for 2010-11 as compensation to states for the gradual lowering of CST to 2 percent from 4 percent. However, the Centre has refused compensation to the states in the current fiscal.
   
At present, CST is payable on inter-state sales at 2 percent. Although CST is levied by the Centre, the revenue goes to the state government. State from which movement of goods commences gets revenue.
   
The government is trying to introduce the new GST regime, which will include various levies like excise, service tax and states tax, like value-added tax, entry tax and purchase tax.
   
In their pre-Budget consultative meeting with the Finance Minister, industry too demanded that government should come out with negative list, while expanding the service tax base.

(Agencies)