Cong set to give dissent note on GST

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Congress is all set to give a dissent note on GST with none of its five demands for changes in the key economic measure likely to be accepted by the 21-member Select Committee headed by BJP MP Bhupender Yadav.

Centre proposes to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill from April 2016.

Congress is likely to flag its dissent when the committee meets tomorrow, the sources said.

Congress has pressed for five changes in the Bill seeking inclusion of tobacco and electricity under the GST regime, which are so far exempted.

They also wanted that one per cent of tax, which has been imposed over and above GST to compensate the manufacturing states was removed.

The party felt that if that provision was implemented only states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu will benefit at the cost of other states.

Besides, it wanted that the government should mention the compensation formula in the bill.

“The compensation formula should be specified. What is it. It has been left vague. The bill only says there will be a compensation formula,” a leader said.

Congress also sought restoring a dispute settlement provision in the Bill, which existed in the earlier bill introduced by UPA’s Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

“It should be restored. The GST council cannot settle disputes. We should have some dispute settlement mechanism,” a party leader had said earlier.

The party also wanted that the bill should set a ceiling on GST rate and say that it shall not exceed 18 per cent.

The party took a conscious decision to make these five demands during a conference of Congress Chief Ministers here this month.

Touted as the single biggest indirect tax reform since Independence, the GST will subsume various levies like excise duty, service tax, entry tax and octroi.

Source: Business Standard

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