Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the Centre was willing to consider a phased approach to the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST), to reach a consensus on the issue.
Mukherjee said he would expect the rollout of GST simultaneously with the Direct Taxes Code (DTC), scheduled for April, but there were some issues.
"With a view to reaching a consensus, we have revised our position to accommodate the concerns of the state governments. The Centre is willing to consider a phased approach to the introduction of GST.
In a departure from our earlier stand, as a transitory measure, we are also willing to accept a dual rate structure that could eventually lead to a 'model GST regime'," the finance minister said while addressing a two-day seminar on GST, organised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
Mukherjee, however, said the ideal structure for GST would be to adopt a single rate, common for goods and services.
He said a consensus was a must for the implementation of GST, and the Centre would continue to take into account the concerns of the states, and work towards forging a common ground for introducing and implementing this tax regime.
A draft of Constitutional amendments required for the introduction of GST has been prepared by the Centre and sent to the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers to seek the views of states.
The empowered committee is discussing the draft to arrive at a consensus on the issue.
"It is my earnest hope that there will be a convergence of views on this draft so that the required Bill to make these amendments could be introduced in Parliament at the earliest.
The measures being considered in respect of DTC, as well as GST, will create for India a modern and more efficient tax system in the near future. However, implementation of some of these measures is not going to be an easy process," Muhkerjee added.
The finance minister said GST would improve tax collections and boost India's economic development by integrating the Indian market through a uniform tax rate.
He said the DTC Bill would be tabled in Parliament after the standing committee gave its recommendations.