Congress-led Kerala and BJPís Gujarat united in GST opposition

Even as UPA-II is palming off the blame for non-implementation of the much-awaited Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime on the BJP and other Opposition parties, dissent is brewing within the Congress-ruled states over the issue.

The Congress-led ruling UDF government in Kerala has lent support to the Gujarat government's apprehensions on GST.

In a letter to Gujarat minister for energy Saurabh Patel, Kerala finance minister KM Mani has taken a courageous stand in hitching his government's fears over the GST regime to those of BJP poster boy and Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's government.

Maintaining that "before moving to the proposed transition to GST, it requires clarity at both conceptual and operational levels on certain issues like dual control over traders and industries, calculation of revenue neutral rate (RNR), models for interstate GST (I-GST), threshold limit, composition, etc," Mani has made a strong pitch for "clear guidelines and an institutional mechanism under the aegis of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers and the government of India to disburse the GST compensation at least for a minimum period of five years".

Kerala's finance minister has also supported Gujarat government's apprehension on service tax.

Mani is openly critical of the Centre's inability to give any "definite information" about the service tax currently received from each state or any projection about future revenues expected from the service sector on implementation of GST.

Mani has also criticised the Centre for its inability to provide "a definite answer" on the impact supply rules would have on states' revenue.

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