VAT Meet Put Off Due To Debate On Finance Bill

New Delhi, May 6: | Updated: May 7 2003, 05:30am hrs
Finance minister Jaswant Singh has called off the meeting with empowered committee on value-added tax (VAT), scheduled for Tuesday.

The meeting between Mr Singh and committee chairman Asim Dasgupta was cancelled because of Rajya Sabha taking up the Finance Bill on Tuesday, official sources said here.

Mr Dasgupta, also the West Bengal finance minister, was supposed to meet the finance minister before taking a final decision on the implementation of value-added tax from June as almost 16 states, covering over 75 per cent of Indias trade and manufacturing, had agreed to switch-over to the new tax regime, replacing the sales tax.

The committee is likely to apprise the Centre of actions taken by it for VAT introduction as Mr Singh had made it clear in Parliament that the implementation of value-added tax in a patch-work fashion could not be done and asked the states to complete the groundwork.

Official sources told PTI that the groundwork has been done and the committee would press for Presidents assent to the value-added tax Bills of at least nine major states by May 25, so that they can go ahead with value-added tax by June. (PTI)