More dialogues are expected between the Centre and states in the coming months on some issues related to Goods and Services Tax (GST), said Union Finance Ministry advisor Parthasarathi Shome.
“It can not be said when it (GST) will be introduced, but certainly now there is more dialogue that is expected and will occur I am sure,” Shome told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by the industry body Assocham.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram had himself held two meetings with the members of Empowered Committee of state finance ministers, he added. At the two-day meeting of state finance ministers in Bhubaneshwar in January, Chairman of Empowered Committee of State Finance Minister and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi had said that 80 per cent of contentious issues related to GST have been resolved.
Besides, states had also reached a broad consensus on the design of GST under which states will be free to decide on the time of its introduction. There was also consensus on the contentious issue of CST compensation with states agreeing to accept a lower package of Rs 34,000 crore.
The Centre will bear 100 per cent of the loss accrued to states in 2010-11 fiscal on account of lowering CST. However, for 2011-12 and 2012-13 financial years, the Centre will provide for 75 per cent and 50 per cent of the losses.
CST, a tax imposed on the inter-state movement of goods was reduced from 4 percent to 3 percent in 2007-08, and further to 2 per cent in 2008-09 after introduction of Value Added tax (VAT). Chidambaram while presenting the Budget 2013-14 in Parliament, had announced that the government will release Rs 9,000 crore as the first instalment of compensation for losses incurred by states due to reduction in the Central Sales Tax rate, a precondition for the roll-out of GST – the indirect tax regime.
On the proposed Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill, Shome said the government has been working very hard on it. The DTC Bill is expected to be tabled during the current budget session of Parliament.