States oppose petro products, liquor in GST

States on Monday opposed the inclusion of petroleum products and liquor under the ambit of proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) as per the revised constitutional amendment bill, rendering the talks on the proposed tax regime inconclusive yet again.

In a meeting of the empowered committee (EC) of state finance ministers, majority of the states opposed the Centre's proposal to include these items in the GST regime on the grounds that they will incur huge losses due to the move. This, however, is contrary to their earlier position, wherein they had agreed to include the items under the proposed tax.

The Centre had revised the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill after the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance suggested that while the proposed dispute resolution panel should be dropped, all items including petroleum products and liquor should be included to remove the distortions. It is also broadly in line with the agreement between Centre and states in their January 2013 meeting at Bhubaneswar.

The issue was also deliberated upon by a sub-committee of officials which was set up to study the recommendations of standing committee and the revised draft and suggest ways for reconciling different positions.

"Majority of the states have opposed bringing petroleum products and liquor in GST framework. They want to keep (the two items) out of GST," Abdul Rahim Rather, chairman EC told reporters after the meeting.

With Monday's development, it is back to square one for the stakeholders, with the breakthrough achieved under the ex-chairman of EC, Sushil Modi, now needing to be renegotiated.

Preserve special status of J&K in GST: Rather

NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather said that the special status granted to the state under the Constitution needs to be preserved while implementing the Goods and Service Tax (GST).

"We cannot afford to tamper with the autonomous position enjoyed by a politically sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir," said Rather, who is also the chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers which is steering implementation of the GST regime. PTI

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