Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Wednesday decided to have a meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on January 7 to thrash out certain constitutional and administrative hitches pertaining to the new indirect taxation regime even as a task force set up by the Thirteenth Finance Commission (TFC) has suggested deferment of its introduction by six months to October 1, 2010.

Briefing the media after the empowered panel’s meeting here, Committee Chairman Asim Dasgupta said: “For certain difficulties [which] were reported to us, it would be difficult to introduce the Bill for GST in this winter session…He [Pranab Mukherjee] has said he is very willing to discuss with us in January after this Parliament session is over.

“After our meeting with him, we would be able to take a decision on constitutional amendment and other preparations”.

Different views

Alongside, with the TFC task force coming out with suggestions which are at variance with the empowered panel’s views on the GST slab rates and the date of its implementation, the proposed introduction of the new combined levy on both goods and services covering almost all sectors and industries from April 1, 2010, has come under a cloud.

For, while the task force has suggested postponement by six months, empowered committee member and Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Modi noted that the GST could be delayed by an entire fiscal year.