The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers met today to take a call on the Union Government’s proposal on revised constitution bill for Goods and Services Tax (GST). CNBC-TV18’s Aakansha Sethi learns from Finance Ministry sources that GST talks were completely derailed as states opposed some key amendments.
GST is the country’s largest indirect tax reform, but like all the previous meetings today’s meeting by State Finance Ministers did not lead to any breakthrough. Senior officials from the Finance Ministry who attended the meeting told CNBC-TV18 that the talks have completely been derailed, because political consensus is required for any breakthrough to be made on GST and currently the opposition is essentially political.
States are opposing the inclusion of petroleum, alcohol and entry tax in the GST structure . The standing committee has submitted its report on the GST constitution amendment and this was discussed.
The Centre has given in to most of the state’s demand, for instance the demand for no dispute resolution panel, for no uniform rate, but instead a basic threshold and then a range of rates for GST. Despite these, states are refusing to come onboard essentially because the opposition is political, it is unlikely that any headway will be made on GST before the general election. However, the states will meet in the middle of November in Meghalaya to discuss these issues further.