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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeks separate paper on GST
May, 29th 2014

In an indication of the importance the new government gives to the goods and services tax (GST), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has asked the revenue department for a separate presentation on the proposed tax reform.

Expenditure, revenue and disinvestment departments made presentations to the finance minister on Wednesday, a day after the department of economic affairs had outlined its agenda when Jaitley took charge.

On Thursday, the revenue department will make a presentation on GST, ambitious reform of the indirect tax regime that was to be launched from January 1, 2010 but got stalled over the issue of compensation to states for losses from the new regime and loss of fiscal autonomy. The BJP had in its manifesto promised to address the concerns of states and roll out the GST.

Officials told ET that the new finance minister was keen to meet with the state finance ministers to take discussions on the GST forward. Officials of the corporate affairs ministry on Wednesday separately made a presentation to Nirmala Sitharaman, who is also minister of state for finance, apart from independent charge of commerce & industry ministry. Jaitley is a cabinet minister with charge of finance and corporate affairs ministries, and additional charge of defence ministry. Both the Central Board of

Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) made presentations to Jaitley, a senior ministry official said. Revenue department officials underlined the issues faced by their departments while CBDT outlined its entire agenda of modernisation. Corporate Affairs Secretary Naved Masood also met the finance minister. Jaitley had on Tuesday said, "There will be clubbing. Currently (corporate affairs) ministry is under me. A notification has to come," he had said.

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