West Bengal Finance Minister and chairman of Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST Amit Mitra said the rate of tax which would be levied was not a part of the Constitutional amendment bill.
“What would be the level of tax? The idea is to have a tax that does not result in inflationary pressures on the common people,” Mitra said at the Ficci Banking Conclave here today.
Mitra said, “The rate should be such that it is neither too low or too high” and added that the level of the tax rate would not be discussed at the debate on the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014.
The GST rate would be fixed two to three months after the amendment was passed by Parliament, he said. Rajya Sabha today took up for discussion the Constitution Amendment bill for the Goods and Services Tax.
Stating that there was a political economy involved in GST, Mitra said India was one of the very few countries which was in the process of implementing it.
“Canada has GST, so has Malaysia. There are other few countries which were deliberating on it.”
GST, he said, was primarily focussed on the small and medium enterprises which would not have to deal with multiple tax system after it was introduced.
Talking of GST compensation, Mitra said that if states’ revenue were seen to be falling then the Centre should fully compensate.
Mitra urged banks to set up brick and mortar branches in every gram panchayats of West Bengal.