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Thursday, Dec 23, 2004

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VAT implementation on track: Finance Minister

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Dec. 22

THE Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, said on Wednesday that 27 States are ready with the relevant laws relating to implementation of value added tax (VAT) from April 1, 2005.

``All States are on board. 27 States have passed the laws. Many of them have got Presidential assent,'' Mr Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha winding up discussions on Supplementary Demands for Grants.

Allaying the fears of traders, who were agitating over VAT, Mr Chidambaram assured that the Government would look into their ``genuine apprehensions''.

The Finance Minister intends to visit various parts of the country to hold meetings with traders and allay their apprehensions. The first of such meetings would be held in Chennai on December 30. This will be followed by visits to Kolkata, Mumbai, Kanpur, Nagpur, Guwahati and several other places.

Mr Chidambaram also appealed to all concerned to work together in implementing VAT, a major tax reform measure undertaken in the country.

``Let us work together. This is the single most tax reform measure undertaken in the country. We are determined to implement VAT from April 1, 2005,'' he said.

On subsidies, the Finance Minister said that he expects to table in Parliament a paper on subsidies situation on Thursday.

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