Thiruvanthapuram, May 7: The concerns of the states in terms of resource mobilisation and how the GST regime will affect the resources available states for development are valid, said Kerala Fince Minister K.M. Mani here on Thursday. Mani, who is also the chairman of the empowered committee of state fince ministers, made this observation in his introductory speech at a two-day meeting of the empowered committee in which 15 state fince ministers and over 30 top officials are taking part. The Lok Sabha on Wednesday gave its consent to the Goods and Services Tax bill.
“I fully share the concerns as I am also heading a difficult portfolio that is constantly struggling to bridge the resource gap. I am happy to note that the Centre has released Rs.10,724.08 crore for the year 2014-15 and made provisions for Rs.15.028 crore for the current year,” said Mani.
Mani, however, said that there are adequate layers of safety in the scheme of things.
“The safety layers available for us are possible widening of tax base, plugging loop holes that exist in the present system through GST tariff, tiol IT interface with seamless flow of information across the states and the centre, empowering the states to tax the services, which is ever growing and would add sizeable revenue to the state,” said Mani.
Once implemented, the new law would pave the way for a pan-India goods and services tax regime and create a unified market across the country, doing away with multiplicity of central and state levies.
“Now with the Lok Sabha approving this, I hope this will be passed at the earliest in the Rajya Sabha so that the GST implementation can be done by the target date -April 1st 2016,” added Mani. Chief Minister Ooommen Chandy will address the meeting on Friday. (IANS)