Vat panel firm on deadline but Rajasthan,UP reluctant

New Delhi, March 10 | Updated: Mar 11 2005, 05:33am hrs
As the majority of states prepare themselves to the switch over to value added tax regime from next month, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand are still reluctant to join the league.

While UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav made it clear that the state would not switch over to Vat unless traders agree, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje wanted central sales tax to be withdrawn before the new tax regime sets in.

Till traders in the state do not agree, we will not implement it (Vat). We have set up a committee headed by Amar Singh to go into the issue, Mr Yadav said here.

Raje, on the other hand, said Vat cannot be implemented in the present form unless Centre spell out the roadmap for phasing out CST. Since small traders contribute significantly to the states economy, they will be affected by the dual presence of CST and Vat, she said at Neemrana.

Another BJP-ruled state Madhya Pradesh demanded a clear roadmap on phasing out of the 4% CST while Jharkhand was not ready due to political uncertainties.

Trade bodies have also threatened to go on 4-day strike from March 29 if Vat is implemented. Despite the opposition, empowered committee of state finance ministers chairman Asim Dasgupta and secretary Ramesh Chandra had asserted that most states will stick to the April 1 deadline in introducing Vat.