States propose GST replace most indirect taxes
New Delhi: With barely over four months left
for the rollout of the goods and services tax, states today
proposed that the new tax regime should subsume most central
indirect levies like excise and service tax as well as state
taxes like VAT, making it easier for business and industry.
The states released a discussion paper prepared by the
Empowered Committee of their finance ministers here today
which said the GST should also replace cesses and surcharges
at both the central and state levels.
The much-talked about discussion paper did not give any
idea about rates and the items to be included in it.
However, it made some specific suggestions such as
alcohol and petroleum tax should be out of GST, while tobacco
be included in it.
The committee would take a final view on whether natural
gas would be included in the GST after further deliberations,
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, present on the
occasion, made it clear that the discussion paper is by the
states. "These are the views of the empowered committee of
state finance ministers. We will also look into it," he said.
Mukherjee evaded a direct reply to a query on whether GST
would be introduced as scheduled. Some states like Madhya
Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana have asked for a delay in the GST
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