All states support GST, barring Tamil Nadu: Jaitley

Kolkata: Virtually all states have supported the idea of GST except Tamil Nadu which has “some reservations”, Finance minister Arun Jaitley said today after a meeting of Empowered Committee of state FMs on the long awaited indirect tax reform.

He said however that there was “no deadline as such” for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax which aims to subsume a string of state and central level levies.

The government had earlier targeted to roll out the nationwide single tax regime from April 1, 2016 but the Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST has been stuck in the Rajya Sabha due to opposition by the Congress party.

“Virtually all the states have supported the idea of GST today barring Tamil Nadu which has expressed some reservations. TN has offered a few a suggestions which have been noted by the committee,” Jaitley told reporters on the first day of the two-day meet.

The meeting was attended by Finance Ministers of 22 states including West Bengal’s Amit Mitra as well as Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, deputy CM of Delhi and senior officials of seven others.

Stating that this was a record attendance of FMs, Jaitley said that every state has given detailed views on GST.

Chairman of GSTN and Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia were also present.

Jaitley said the Lok Sabha had approved the GST Bill while it was pending before the Rajya Sabha.

“The first thing which will have to be done is to pass the Constitutional amendment which has to be then ratified by the states. Then Parliament will have to pass the CGST Bill and states the SGST Bills” he said.

Interesting, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are scheduled to meet in Delhi today wherein she is expected to take up with him a host of state-related issues including the Formation of Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.