The centre has offered to make Bihar Deputy Chief Minister S K Modi chairman of the high-powered committee comprising finance ministers of different States on Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Giving this information, Mr. Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio, told reporters that the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has asked him to head the high-powered panel of the finance ministers of States on GST.

The panel was earlier led by former West Bengal Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta but the post fell vacant after the exit of the Left Front government in West Bengal after assembly elections, he said.

Stating that the high-powered committee had a major programme ahead for reforms in indirect taxes, Mr. Modi said the committee had earlier evolved a consensus on VAT in the country and “now it has to work for evolving similar type of consensus on GST”.

On whether he was ready to accept the offer, Mr. Modi said he had apprised his party high command of the request. “I will shoulder the responsibility once I receive go ahead from the party”, he said.

While replying to another question, he said he had not held any discussion with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the GST so far.

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