Empowered Committee on GST to elect new Chairman on Jul 22

Empowered Committee on GST to elect new Chairman on Jul 22 New Delhi: The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Goods and Service Tax (GST) will elect its new Chairman at their meeting to be held on July 22.

The post is lying vacant since June 17 when Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi resigned following the JD(U)-BJP split in the eastern state.

"They (the empowered committee) will elect one when we meet on the 22nd. It is for them to elect a candidate (from) amongst themselves," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here.

The GST Bill, which was introduced in Parliament in 2010, is currently being vetted by the Standing Committee on Finance.

After the committee submits its report, the states and the Centre would together finalise the draft 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 replaced Asim Dasgupta, who had resigned following the defeat of Left-front government in West Bengal.

The GST Bill, introduced in Parliament in 2010, is being vetted by the Standing Committee on Finance. After the committee submits its report, the states and the Centre would together finalise the draft and bring it back to Parliament.

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 mop ups.

The GST rollout has missed several deadlines on account of differences over contentious issue of Central Sales Tax compensation and design of the GST structure between the states and the Centre.

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 could chair the committee.

PTI