There's no consensus yet on GST: Raghav

Last Updated: Sat, May 04, 2013 05:54 hrs
Cashier counts currency notes inside bank in Lucknow

Barely 10 days after Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers Sushil Modi said 80 per cent of the disputes in the proposed goods and services tax (GST) had been resolved, his colleague from the Bharatiya Janata Party, Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Raghav ruled out a consensus had not been reached.

The empowered committee is to meet in Mussoorie next week to make some progress on in GST in areas such as dual control, revenue neutral rate, exemptions and threshold.

"I do not think the Centre's model of GST can come. There is no consensus on GST," said Raghavji at annual meet of the Asian Development Bank.

Contrary to Modi's statement on April 22 that consensus was reached on some crucial points in the Bhubaneswar meet in January and the Centre's optimism in getting Parliament's approval for the Constitutional Amendment Bill, Raghavji said there had not been any change in the viewpoint of states. Things stood where they were 10 months ago when Finance Minister P Chidambaram took charge, he added.

Last month, Chidambaram had said that work on GST was in progress and there was 70 per cent possibility of the legislation being passed in Parliament during the tenure of the current government.

"There has been no discussion with the stakeholders. If the Centre's intention is to take away the rights of states, then we will oppose it. Getting two-third majority in Parliament for passing the Bill won't be easy," said Raghavji. He argued that income tax impacts only 2 per cent people, but GST would impact the entire country and for several generations states would lose their autonomy in tax issues.

Meanwhile, states governments today made a strong pitch for private investments in their states at the ADB meet. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Madhya Pradesh highlighted various opportunities they could offer to investors in varied sectors.

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