Patna: Chairman of Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday shared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's optimism that the legislation would be in place by 2014 but blamed the UPA government for delay in implementation of the important tax reform.
"GST is an important tax reform and I am confident it will come into being in 2014 irrespective of whether UPA or NDA forms government at the centre after general elections," Modi, who is the Deputy Chief Minister and the Finance minister of Bihar, told PTI reacting to Singh's observations on GST in Japan.
The PM had on Tuesday assured Japanese industry that the long-awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, which is facing hurdles from states, will be in place in an "appropriate type" by 2014.
Modi blamed the UPA government for doing precious little for implementation of GST.
It may be recalled that implementation of GST, which will subsume most of the indirect taxes, has missed several deadlines.
"For the last three years the GST is lying with Parliamentary Standing Committee in which Rahul Gandhi is a member...The UPA II hardly did anything for implementation of GST," Modi said.
"No positive steps were taken in UPA I for building consensus among states on GST," he said.
"Things have started moving with regard to GST in the last one year after P Chidambaram became Union Finance minister," the GST Committee chief said.
He said through sustained dialogue the committee has build consensus on majority of issues among states on GST and areas where there are differences, were not difficult to be sorted out.
Modi dismissed that opposition to GST was for political reasons saying the states were mainly bothered about loss of revenue. "Even Congress ruled states like Haryana and Maharashtra are opposed to it fearing loss of revenue," he added.
"The main issue for implementation of GST is that the Centre has to draw a mechanism to protect revenue loss to states (due to GST) at least for initial five years," the GST committee chairman said.
Talking about roadblocks on way to GST, he said it cannot be in place without GST network for which a IT network was required. "The UPA government has not done enough in this direction also," he said.
First Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 13:56