Budget 2019

Pre-Budget talks: Jaitley to meet State Finance Ministers on Saturday

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on February 05, 2016

States’ readiness for GST rollout likely to be discussed

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will meet State Finance Ministers on Saturday as part of the pre-Budget consultative process, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. The Minister will present the Union Budget 2016-17 on February 29.

The meeting is expected to discuss the progress on the Goods and Services Tax as well as the preparedness of States. The report of Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian-led committee on possible rates for the indirect tax may also be taken up for discussion, sources said.

Jaitley has expressed hope on the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for GST in the forthcoming Budget Session of Parliament (from February 23) and the Finance Ministry is tentatively eyeing a deadline of June or September for its roll-out.

With the delay in the passage of the Bill, the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, too, has not met since November last year and currently does not even have a chairman.

With economic prospects still subdued, States are likely to be asked to step up public spending, especially when the Centre’s finances will be challenging next fiscal.

Issues concerning implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations are also likely to come up at the meeting.

The 14th Finance Commission in its report last year had recommended a record 10 percentage point increase in the States’ share in Union taxes to 42 per cent, which has been accepted by the Centre.

However, several States have expressed their unhappiness over the new formula for devolution and have complained of a cut in their share of funds.

Published on February 05, 2016
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