Thursday, July 22, 2010

Isaac welcomes Pranab proposal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has welcomed Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjees proposal to start the process of introducing a unified single rate structure for Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the whole country from the beginning of the next financial year.

The proposal is for a three-tier tax structure to start with from April 1, 2010, to be unified at a common point for all goods and services in a phased manner over a period of three years and shared equally between the States and the Union government.

Making a statement in the Assembly on Thursday, Dr. Isaac said he could not attend the meeting the Union Finance Minister had with the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers in New Delhi on Wednesday since the Assembly was in session here.

He hoped that the formula suggested by Mr. Mukherjee at the meeting, involving the phased transition from a three-tier tax structure to a unified one, would help evolve a consensus among the States in introducing the GST.

In fact, Kerala was ready and eager for the introduction of the GST from April 1 this year itself but some of the other States had apprehension.

The Finance Commission had put forward certain suggestions on how to roll out the new indirect tax regime, replacing the Central and State levies such as excise, service tax and value added tax. The approach suggested by the Finance Commission too was acceptable to Kerala.

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