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Pranab tells industry leaders, Build consensus on GST
March, 02nd 2011

The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, on Tuesday urged leaders of apex industry associations to do their bit in building consensus on goods and service tax (GST).

He was addressing a post-Budget interactive meeting with the members of the three apex industry associations FICCI, CII and Assocham in the Capital.

Currently, there is no consensus between the Centre and the States on the design of the proposed GST system.

There is still uncertainty on this major tax reform becoming a reality although both the Centre and the States have been discussing it for the last four years.

The Finance Minister, in his Budget speech, said that he would, in the current Budget session, introduce the constitutional amendment Bill, which could pave the way for GST introduction in the country.

Mr Mukherjee also said that he had an option to roll back the Central excise duty to levels prevailing in November 2008.

I have chosen not to do so and retain the rates at 10 per cent for two reasons. I would like to see improved business margins translated into higher investment rates. I would also like to stay my course towards GST, he said.

The Finance Minister said that his Budget was focused on conveying a sense of continuity and stability in the Government's approach to policy management of the economy.

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