States endorse White Paper on VAT

New Delhi, Jan 5 | Updated: Jan 6 2005, 05:30am hrs
In a major step towards introduction of value-added tax from April 2005, states on Wednesday endorsed a White Paper on the new tax regime, which would be formally issued on January 17.

The empowered committee of state finance ministers met here to fine-tune the draft and finalise the White Paper that would contain the structure of VAT apart from other procedural details.

I am very happy to announce the White Paper has been finalised and the empowered committee has endorsed it. The White Paper will be issued on January 17, VAT panel chairman Asim Dasgupta said after the meeting.

The White Paper would be published in english, hindi and all major regional languages and made public so as to create awareness and clear traders doubts.

The finalisation of the white paper assumes importance in the wake of stiff Opposition from traders and apprehension of some states like Uttar Pradesh on VAT.

Mr Dasgupta said the committee had interaction with national level trade and industry bodies, which have pointed out ground level difficulties in implementing vat and demanded a more liberal penal cause for non-compliance.

We will try to accommodate the views of traders on ground-level difficulties. It is our collective effort to reduce the difficulties, he said, assuring traders that there would be a system of self-assessment instead of an inspector raj regime.