Two-tier GST model likely

Special Correspondent

Report to be presented to the Empowered Committee

Empowered Committee to

meet on Nov. 28

GST proposed

to be levied

from 2010

NEW DELHI: The Union Finance Ministry would soon present the joint working group’s report on guidelines for movement towards Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, Adviser to Union Finance Minister Parthasarathi Shome said here on Monday.

Inaugurating a two-day conference on ‘International taxation: A paradigm shift,’ organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD) here, Dr. Shome said: “The overall structure of the recommendations for the Empowered Committee has been finalised. These will be taken up for discussion when the empowered committee meets for two days on November 28 and 29.”

Dr. Shome, who is also the co-Chairman of the joint working group on GST, along with the VAT panel Member-Secretary Satish Chandra hinted that the proposed GST structure might have a dual format at the Central and State levels. “We have in our own mind some ideas... [on] how we might be able to roll out [GST] or what the overall structure would be. Let’s hope we can have Central GST and state GST in dual format,” he said.

The GST, proposed to be levied from 2010, is to be on all goods and services at the Central and state levels at a uniform rate to facilitate better tax compliance and administration. It is, however, not yet clear whether the unified levy would have two different structures at the Centre and the States.

The movement towards GST by 2010, Dr Shome said, was apace and it was now for the political leaders to examine the recommendations and place them for a wider public debate. He, however, reminded delegates to the conference that a holistic view of GST was required to be taken by stakeholders and not just how their immediate business interests would be affected.

He underscored the need for a strategic partnership in taxation between taxpayers and the Government so that a cooperative spirit prevailed with regard to tax levies and compliance. This, he said, would minimise litigation and leave time for serious thinking and judgments on substantive matters.

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