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Pranab asks Swaraj to convince - ruled states on nod to GST
August, 11th 2010

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has asked Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj to convince Chief Ministers and Finance Ministers of BJP-ruled states to give their nod to the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Swaraj told reporters that Mukherjee had asked her to build a consensus among BJP-ruled states in favour of GST and she would soon call the CMs and FMs of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat on the issue.

"I met Mukherjee yesterday at a programme and asked him to send him a draft of the proposed legislation so that I am more aware of the issue before I talk to these leaders," Swaraj said. GST, when implemented, will subsume various levies including Excise, Service tax and VAT.

Among BJP-ruled states, Madhya Pradesh is opposed to imposition of GST as being a high producing but less consuming state, it fears loss of revenue under the new tax regime.Himachal Pradesh also has some reservations. Earlier, Mukherjee had sought to reach out to the main opposition by calling BJP Parliamentary Party leader L K Advani, Swaraj and her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley for a luncheon meeting on GST.

In the recent meeting of all state Finance Ministers with Mukherjee, BJP had advised its leaders to air their grievances and reservations if GST is imposed. The government roadmap, according to sources, is to introduce the GST Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament.It would come up for discussion in the winter session and the government is confident of getting it passed then to be able to implement it from April 1, 2011.

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