Mulayam will take a call on Vat regime after March 28 meet

Bangalore, March 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2005, 05:30am hrs
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said his meeting with West Bengal finance minister Asim Dasgupta and various trade bodies has been called on March 28 to address concerns over switching to value added tax (Vat) regime. He maintained that his state would not be part of Vat unless traders agreed to it.

We will implement Vat if the traders problems are sorted out. I have called a meeting with Dasgupta and traders on March 28 to discuss the issue, Mr Yadav told mediapersons here on Thursday.

Mr Dasgupta is the chairman of the empowered committee on Vat representing the states and has prepared the groundwork for implementing the new tax system aimed at curbing cascading effects of multiple taxes in states.

If traders agree to switch over to the Vat regime, Im willing to join them, he said.

Several states, including UP and BJP-ruled ones, have kept out of the Vat regime, while 21 states agreed to come under it from April, finance minister P Chidambaram said in New Delhi on Thursday.

Accusing BJP of adopting double standards in not supporting the Vat regime, Mr Yadav said the BJP-led NDA government had placed the Vat Bill in Parliament and were now opposing it.

We have maintained that we will not be part of the Vat regime, he said.