Search begins for new GST chief

As West Bengal Finance Minister, Dasgupta was involved with the Empowered Group for more than a decade. Earlier, he was the convenor of the VAT panel and played a key role in implementing the new tax regime. As chairman of the Empowered Group, Dasgupta was engaged in preparing a blue print for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) along with other state finance ministers.

In the Assembly elections, Dasgupta lost to TMC candidate and Ficci Secretary General Amit Mitra by a margin of over 26,000 votes.

The view that seems to be emerging is that the new chairman of the Empowered Group should be somebody who has experience of serving in the body. “As a chairman of the group, we would prefer somebody more experienced in handling intricacies of party politics,” said one of the members of the body.

This stance goes against the view in some quarters that Mitra is a favourite to replace Dasgupta. The new chairman will have a tough task of bringing a concensus among states and the central government on the GST.

“At this moment it is premature to speculate about who the chairman of the Empowered Group would be,” Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Raghavji said.

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