Broad consensus on GST among states

New Delhi: Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley today said a Constitution Amendment Bill for introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be passed in the current session of the Parliament as there is a broad consensus among states on the issue.

Jaitley said he is optimistic about introduction of GST, which will create a nationwide unified market and remove trade barriers in the form of cascading effects of taxation, from April 1, 2016.

He was speaking to reporters after meeting Finance ministers from 18 states including Odisha to discuss the road-map for roll out of GST.

“There was a broad consensus that states are in support of GST. A lot of homework has been done already,” he said.

“I will give a notice in Lok Sabha (for taking up of the Bill) in couple of days,” he said.

The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December.

A single rate of GST will replace central excise, state VAT, entertainment tax, octroi, entry tax, luxury tax and purchase tax on goods and services to ensure seamless transfer of goods and services.

Meanwhile, Odisha Finance minister Pradip Amat in the meeting demanded for immediate release of Central compensation against loss due to slashing of Central Sales tax (CST) rate before implementation of GST.

Talking to reporters, Amat said the Centre has assured Odisha that the dues will be cleared in phases.

Odisha also asked for a monetary provision for the State under the Green Tax due to mining pollution, more share for the State in the empowered committee voting and power to implement tobacco tax.