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Govt clears VAT Bills of 23 states
Anil Sasi in New Delhi |
March 13, 2003 13:28 IST
The Centre on Wednesday approved the VAT Bills of 23 states in an attempt to put the implementation of the value-added tax regime back on track even as the Delhi government toughened its stand on the issue.
Central government officials said the approval would help the states -- except Delhi, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh -- in getting their laws passed in time for the April 1 deadline.
"The onus is now on the states," an official said. The Bills of Punjab, Bihar and Tamil Nadu, which were received late, will be approved soon.
The Delhi government, however, has decided to defer the state's transition to the VAT regime. A meeting of the state Cabinet on Wednesday decided that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit would approach Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh on Saturday to seek special incentives before shifting to the VAT regime from April 1.
According to the government officials, February's Assembly elections in Tripura and Himachal Pradesh had restrained the states from pushing hard their VAT Bills.
The Centre had assured the states it would clear pending VAT Bills by March 11 so that they had enough time to get them cleared by their respective Assemblies.
The Kerala, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh Assemblies have already cleared their VAT Bills, and Maharashtra is trying out the tax on select commodities.
Apprehension about a delay in the implementation of VAT from April 1 stemmed from reports that most states were not ready with their VAT laws and notifications.
The government officials said with the Centre clearing the Bills, the states would get over a fortnight to introduce them in their legislatures.
The next step
- Delhi, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh yet to send their VAT Bills for presidential assent.
- Punjab, Bihar and Tamil Nadu Bills to be approved soon.
- Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to meet Finance Minister Jaswant Singh on Saturday.