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Jaitley to meet state FMs on Monday, eyes GST ‘miracle’

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will meet his state counterparts on Monday as part of pre-budget consultations and also discuss progress towards the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST). Jaitley is scheduled to present the Union Budget early next month. He will hold consultations with the finance ministers of states and Union Territories on 9 June, an official said. The long delayed GST may also figure in the meeting. The ambitious indirect tax reform could not be passed during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime for want of consensus on different issues.

The BJP, in its manifesto, had committed to ‘bring on board all state governments in adopting GST, addressing all their concerns.’ GST would usher in a new indirect tax regime which would subsume levies such as excise, service and local taxes. The UPA government introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha in 2011 to pave the way for the GST.

Jaitley will also make his first visit as finance minister on Saturday to the country’s financial capital Mumbai, where he will chair the 11th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) at the RBI’s Mint Road office.

Apart from top finance ministry officials, the meeting will be attended by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha, Irda Chairman T S Vijayan, Forward Markets Commission head Ramesh Abhishek and PFRDA Chairman Anup Wadhawan.

Later Jaitley will meet foreign institutional investor representatives. FIIs have pumped huge money into the financial markets in the run-up to the polls and also after the BJP’s victory, hoping for major pro-West reforms by the Modi government.
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