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Updated: October 8, 2009 14:07 IST

Pranab hopeful of convergence of views as States meet on GST

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Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

As states meet on Thursday to iron out differences over various aspects of the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Centre said it is hopeful of reaching a common ground on the new indirect tax system.

“Chairman of Empowered Committee is trying (to resolve the issue). I am hopeful that it is possible to have convergence of views,” Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.

The Empowered Committee of state finance ministers is meeting under the chairmanship of West Bengal Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta to work out agreements on various aspects of the GST.

The states are yet to reach a favourable agreement on certain aspects of GST like rates, items to be covered and issues related to compensation to states that would lose out on their earnings, even as the April 1, 2010, deadline for the introduction of the proposed tax draws closer.

While states have decided to have two main GST rates, besides one special rate for precious metals, the Centre is yet to take a call on it.

The proposed indirect tax regime would replace most of the indirect tax levied by the Centre like excise and service tax and subsume state-levied taxes like VAT and local taxes like octroi and purchase tax.

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