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GST rollout date likely to be announced
December, 28th 2009

The date for rolling out the Goods and Services Tax could be announced on January 8, chairman of the empowered committee of state finance ministers Asim Dasgupta said on Friday.

There will be a joint statement after a meeting with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on January 8 on GST rollout, Dasgupta told reporters on the sidelines of a function here. We (state finance ministers) have a two-day meeting from January 7. We will meet Mr Mukherjee before giving a statement on this, he said.

Dasguptas statement came just a day after Mr Mukherjee said the scheduled April 1 date to introduce the new tax regime may be missed due to a lack of consensus among all the 28 states.

Asked whether a consensus with all the states had been arrived at, Dasgupta did not make any comments.

He said the Centre was working and contributing, and an advance had been made which would make it possible to introduce the GST at the appropriate time.

The lack of preparedness for the new tax regime hints at a possible delay by up to a year.

Implementation of the new tax regime would require Constitutional amendments for empowering states for levy of service tax, GST on imports and others the draft bill for any of these amendments were not tabled in this session of Parliament. Now, Parliament will meet for the budget session in February when the draft bills for introduction of GST may be tabled.

The Task force of Thirteenth Finance Commission in its report on Goods and Services Tax had said: On account of lack of adequate preparedness, the implementation of the GST scheduled for 1st April, 2010 should be postponed by six months to October 1, 2010.

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