Thiruvananthapuram: A day after the Lok Sabha cleared the Goods and Services Tax bill, two-day meeting of the Empowered Committee on GST began here Thursday to arrive at a consensus among states on many contentious issues that are still pending before it.
"We have to arrive at a consensus among states. There are certain apprehensions among the producing and consuming states", GST Empowered Committee Chairman K M Mani, who is also state Finance Minister, told reporters before the meeting. We will arrive at a consensus", he added.
GST, the new indirect tax regime, is scheduled to be rolled out across the country on April 1, 2016.
Billed as the biggest indirect tax reform since 1947 which is expected to boost manufacturing, GST will replace central taxes like excise duty and service tax and state levies such as sales, value-added, entertainment and purchase taxes. All entry taxes like octroi will also be subsumed under GST.
Some issues that still need consensus are tax structure on inter-state services, including transportation and communication, rate of tax on essential commodities, including food products and system of mechanism to collect tax.
Also pending is whether to include petroleum products and liquor in the ambit of GST.
The long-pending GST bill was approved by the Lok Sabha Wednesday after a walkout by Congress even as government vowed to compensate states for any revenue loss and assured that the new uniform indirect tax rate would be much less than 27 per cent recommended by an expert panel.