Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister K. M. Mani, who has just been appointed Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State FMs on GST, exudes confidence of getting all states on board and meeting the roll-out deadline for the new indirect taxes regime.
He also feels that producing states’ concerns could be addressed during the course of the year.
“Every state, including those producing states which have some concerns on possible revenue losses, and the Centre know that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is good for them,” Mr. Mani told PTI on phone.
“Already a large majority of states favour the GST.
Therefore, I am confident of meeting the April 1, 2016 deadline as there are many sub-committees which are working over-time to complete the process on time,” he added.
When asked about the opposition from some large states ruled by the BJP like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, citing larger revenue losses to them as producing states, Mani said he is confident of getting them on board as in the long-run, they too will benefit immensely.
“As the chairman of the empowered committee I will always work by the principle of consensus-building. I hope my decades of public life and also my experience as the Kerala Finance Minister will help me get everyone on-board,” Mani said.
Asked whether political consideration will over-rule economic sense, Mr. Mani said: “Let me not make any hypothetical answer... All I can tell you now is that I will not take any unilateral decisions, but I will ensure that everybody’s interests are protected.
“Most states want this new taxation regime as it benefits all. I will do justice to all by blending the best from every demand. With my past experience in the committee, I think many of the differences can be ironed out by enabling wider and constructive discussions among all stakeholders.”
About the next committee meeting to be held under his chairmanship, Mr. Mani said no date has been fixed as it has been just about a week since he was appo