Kolkata: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday lauded the West Bengal government for accepting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in principle and said the state`s approach on the issue was very good.
"There are several issues in which the Centre and the state government require discussion. To me, GST is a priority issue on which West Bengal Government`s approach is very good and the state government have accepted the GST in principle," Jaitley said.
The union minister was talking to reporters after a 50-minute meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the presence of state Finance Minister Amit Mitra.
Banerjee and Mitra suggested some points on how to overcome the hurdles to make GST a reality, Jaitley said, adding that the Centre was trying to bring consensus among the states to roll out GST in the country.
On the state`s outstanding dues for various central assisted schemes, he said the chief minister gave him a letter on the outstanding dues to which the state government was entitled. "I am certainly going to examine that."
"There were also discussions on other development projects in the state where the Centre`s active participation and assistance are required," Jaitley said.
"The state Finance Minister is coming to Delhi and we will call the departments handling the schemes so that dues of Bengal government can be looked into," he said.
The state government has been complaining that the Centre was not clearing the dues for various schemes, including MGNREGA.
The Union Finance Minister, however, did not say anything about giving any special package to the state. "We know the difficulty of the state. We had some discussions. I have given you the gist of the discussions," Jaitley said.