Convergence on GST likely: Dasgupta

"The difference in views has narrowed down considerably. The required convergence is likely to reached at the next meeting," Dasgupta, who is also West Bengal Finance Minister, said.

The Empowered Committee of state finance ministers is likely to meet on October 27 in Goa to discuss GST, the indirect tax regime that is expected to replace excise duty, service tax on the Centre's end and VAT on the states front, besides local levies, cesses and surcharges.

Both the states and the Centre had agreed on the list of exempted items and lower and higher rates would be the same across the country, Dasgupta told an interactive session at Merchants' Chamber of Commerce here.

Dasgupta said that the incidence of GST would lower the tax burden on people, traders and agriculture.He also said that GST Amendment Bill was likely to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament.

Dasgupta said that UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani was working out the IT infrastructure needed to roll out GST.The government had plans to implement GST from April 1 2010, but it was postponed by a year.

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