This refers to the report “Decks cleared for FY15 GST rollout” (January 29). Although the news of the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) sounds promising, in reality, many such announcements in the past have failed to deliver any output. As a result, GST implementation has remained an elusive subject before the economic fraternity at large. However, there has been a major departure from the earlier norm — states affected for any revenue loss owing to GST will now be given 100 per cent compensation. But a major issue that remains to be put to rest is the period through which the compensation will be payable. There could be several other such questions that need to be addressed for closure before GST is implemented. If the government has decided to postpone the introduction of GST by another year, it is time that every nitty-gritty of this implementation is taken care of, and a written document is signed and agreed by all affected parties first. In the absence of such a consensus or agreement, the government may end up in litigation later. In this context, Sushil Kumar Modi’s statement that a mechanism must be installed, so that such disputes can be avoided and states “don’t have to go to the Union government with a begging bowl”, is noteworthy.
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