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Govt to table goods, services tax Bill in winter session
September, 12th 2013

Union Minister of State for Finance J.D. Seelam on Wednesday said that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill will be placed before Parliament during the ensuing winter session to pave the way for its early implementation.

“There is near-consensus between the Finance Minister and the Chairman of the Empowered Committee of States’ Finance Ministers. We can table it (the Bill) during the winter session,” he told media persons on the sidelines of a meeting with industrialists here today.

The original deadline for the rollout of the new tax regime was April 2010, but it missed several deadlines in the wake of differences between the Centre and states over issues such as central sales tax compensation and the structure of the GST.

In July, the Empowered Committee elected Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather as its new chairman. Seelam said various sub-groups were looking into the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee and the Bill will be suitably fine-tuned before the winter session.

Replying to the various proposed reforms and other measures to push the flagging economy, Seelam said the Government was doing its best, as after two or three months the election atmosphere would set in. “Clearly, we do not have much time,” he said.

He hinted that the Ministry could take some steps to curb import of a few more non-essential items. On tax collections, the Minister said normally the first quarter figures were low. “But the collections are showing improvement from the second quarter,” he said.

On the issue of disinvestment in PSUs, he said the Government was confident of meeting the Rs 40,000-crore target by the end of the current fiscal.

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