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No Veto powers to FM
August, 13th 2010

The centre has given in to pressure from the states on goods and service tax (GST). In a revised constitutional amendment, the finance ministry has removed the clause giving the finance minister veto powers.

The center has finally given in once again to all of the states demands. They have been revising the constitutional amendment and the key changes that they have made. The first is that the decisions of the GST council will be recommendatory instead of binding as proposed in the first draft.

Now this is one of the key concerns of the states because they said that the GST council decisions will be binding on them and this will infringe on their fiscal autonomy.

Secondly we had reported this on Monday that the Veto power of the Union Finance Minister, that clause has been removed and instead now decisions will be taken through consensus which essentially means that all states will have a Veto power.

Even if one state doesnt agree, no decision can be passed by the GST council. Asim Dasgupta met the Finance Minister late last night and we hear from sources that he is positive on these changes that have been made at the constitution amendment or remains to be seen whether the rest of the states will also accept this constitutional amendment and that is now more a political issue rather than a legal or an economic one.

It remains to be seen if after all these changes finally will the constitutional amendment come into the monsoon session of Parliament.

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