State FMs to elect new chairman of GST panel on Monday
New Delhi: The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers will elect a new chairman tomorrow to pursue implementation of Goods and Services Tax, a report on which has recently been finalised by a Parliamentary panel.
The post of Chairman of the state FM's committee has been lying vacant since June 17 when Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi resigned following the JD(U)-BJP split in the eastern state.
"The committee will elect the Chairman on Monday and thereafter, they will meet Finance Minister P Chidambaram," an official said.
Conventionally, the post of Chairman of the Empowered Committee has been with the opposition party. So, it is likely that the Finance Minister of a BJP-ruled state or from Punjab or Odisha would chair the committee.
The new chairman of the committee, the official said, is likely to be elected on consensus basis as has been the practice in the past. However, if there is no consensus, state FMs may go in for election to select the chief.
The new chief, he said, will have a formidable task of pursuing the new indirect tax regime (GST) which will subsume excise, service tax and local levies.
The Standing Committee on Finance had last week finalised its views on the GST Bill, which was introduced in Parliament in 2010.
The states and the Centre would together finalise the draft now and bring it back to Parliament.
The new Chairman would have to start afresh the process of building consensus on contentious issues among all states for early roll-out of GST.
In 2011, Modi had replaced Asim Dasgupta, who had resigned following the defeat of Left-front government in West Bengal.
Modi had earlier said that 80 percent consensus has been built on the Bill.
The proposed GST will bring in a common tax regime for goods and services by subsuming most indirect taxes, and is expected to help increase revenue collections.
The GST rollout had missed several deadlines due to differences between the states and the Centre over contentious issue of central sales tax compensation to states and design of the GST structure.