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Will support GST if states are fully compensated: Mamata

Speaking to the media persons in New Delhi, Trinamool Congress chief, said, “We don’t have any problem with GST. It is our manifesto commitment. We are all for it. But states have to be adequately compensated. We need to be compensated otherwise Bengal will lose Rs 8,200 crore after GST roll out.”

Even, though Mamata called for a conditional support, State Finance Minister Amit Mitra claimed that states were not consulted over proposed amendments to GST Bill.

The government initiated legislation for the much awaited reform of the indirect tax system by tabling the GST Bill in the Lok Sabha Friday. Then an Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers of 29 States was formed for its implement. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the constitutional amendment bill for implementing GST contending that the object of the legislation is “the seamless transfer of goods and services across the country”.

Banerjee, who is on a visit to the capital, said it was the central government which was wandering from its commitments it had given earlier on compensation. It was learnt that all the states including West Bengal will lose hefty amount of money (nearly Rs. 4,000 Crore) on account of Central Sales Tax (CST) only, if the draft Constitutional Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST) is passed in Parliament in its present form.

“We are carrying a huge debt which was left behind by the Left Front government and if Center refused to compensate us by ignoring the suggestions of Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers then it will have a severe impact on state economy,” She said. To elaborate more to the media persons, she called up Mitra and asked him to brief the nuances of GST by putting her Cell phone on a speaker mode. Mitra said, “We we will not get the compensation then the revenue loss would come around Rs 8,200 Crore (nearly 20 per cent of the state revenue) in the first year.”

Recently, Mitra has written to the chairman of the empowered committee of finance ministers A.R. Rather demanding an urgent discussion on the Constitution Amendment Bill. In GST states that consume more will be getting more tax, while producing states that export goods to other states including Bengal will be apparently on the losing side. Now, with most of the goods and services coming under the GST, the Bill also proposes to do away with the state’s power to levy tax on select items ‘declared goods’ as provided under Article 286 of the Constitution. On August 23, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley met Mamata at Nabanna in West Bengal and praised the Bengal government’s ‘approach’ on GST.

TN CM urges consensus on GST, asks PM Modi to allay fears

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Friday urged Prime Minister Modi to first allay the fears of the States’ on the Goods and Services Tax issue, go in for consensus and then consider the GST Bill’s adoption.

“The Centre must ensure that the States’ fears are allayed and a true consensus is achieved before such a far reaching reform is attempted,” Panneerselvam said in a letter to Modi. “I strongly urge you against hustling through the Constitutional Amendment Bill hastily as such a move is bound to have serious long term implications for the fiscal autonomy and revenue position of the States,” he said. The Centre’s proposal to introduce a Constitutional Amendment Bill on GST and then to evolve a consensus on its various aspects like tax rates and bands was not acceptable to Tamil Nadu, he said.
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