KOLKATA: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has said there are major issues with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which are yet to be discussed and ironed out.
Speaking to reporters in Kolkata, Mr Mitra said, “I have pointed out 15 areas which still need further discussion and have not been ironed out. There are huge issues that still have to be ironed out.”
The minister today held a pre-budget meeting with chambers of commerce and trade bodies in Kolkata. Doing business in the backdrop of demonetisation and the implementation of GST are the two main issues that were discussed in the meeting.
Hinting at more delay, Mr Mitra said, “There is unpreparedness when it comes to fitment when it comes to GST. We have had three major issues. Mamata Banerjee has ensured that the GST is ideal and small businesses are not affected.”
“West Bengal stood alone and fought a fight that small businesses that have revenues above Rs. 20 lakh and below Rs. 1.5 crore and said that they cannot be under dual control. We have won 90% of that battle,” Mr Mitra said.
“The entire trading community will be under single control have given my dissent even on the remaining 10%. We have won the war for small business across the country,” Mr Mitra added.
“On the issue 12 nautical miles territorial domain from the coastline, every state along the coast has been collecting tax. GST said that this will be in central territory after it come into effect but now states will be given taxation rights in deemed manner in this area,” Mr Mitra said.
Hitting out at the Centre over demonetisation, Mr Mitra said the Prime Minister needs to take responsibility for financial losses. “We have seen a 13% decline in taxes due to demonetisation compared to last year, Mr Mitra added.
“GST, whenever it happens, India will be proud of it. When the objective of GST is met, Bengal will be the first state to move forward,” Mr Mitra said adding that Bengal is one of the supporters of the new tax regime.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is the new system of indirect taxes in India by merging most existing taxes into a single system. The constitutional amendment required for this has been passed by Parliament and it has to be implemented by September 16 this year.