Too many products can't be kept out of GST, says Jaitley

Requests RBI to cut interest rates
Last Updated 30 August 2014, 17:43 IST

The Centre asserted that too many products cannot be kept out of the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST) even as states are clamouring for more products including liquor, tobacco and petroleum to be excluded. 

“The Empowered Committee has with regard to certain items expressed an opinion that they be kept out. Now too many items cannot be kept out because the larger object itself could get defeated,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here.

“This is the issue on which we are in discussion with some of the states," he said. The state FMs are also in the process of harmonising the exemption lists of states and the Centre which have 96 and 243 items, respectively.

The GST will subsume indirect taxes like excise duty and service tax at the central level and VAT on the states front, besides local levies.

Different states have different concern on GST. While Madhya Pradesh has a different issue, Punjab has an issue with regard to mandi tax. Besides, Gujarat has raised the matter with regard to some other tax.

“I am individually discussing with CMs and FMs (of states) which has raised some issues with regard to GST. An early development of constitutional framework is top in the government's agenda,” he said.

The rollout of new indirect tax regime has missed several deadlines because of lack of consensus among states over certain crucial issues on the new tax regime. 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gently pushed the Reserve Bank of India to cut interest rates. “Left to myself, I hope very soon,” said Jaitley replying to a query on when does he expect the central bank to cut interest rates.

“But I am sure those who decide have also heard your question," the finance minister said at a press conference.

In its third bi-monthly monetary policy statement earlier this month, the RBI had kept its policy repo rate unchanged at 8 per cent citing upside risks to its headline inflation target of 6 per cent by January 2016.

(Published 30 August 2014, 17:43 IST)

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