Sushil Kumar Modi elected GST panel head

PTI | Updated on July 18, 2011

The Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Mr Sushil Kumar Modi was today elected the new chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, which is spearheading the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Mr Modi, who also handles the finance portfolio in the Bihar government, replaces Mr Asim Dasgupta, who had served in the post for over a decade since the formation of the body.

The committee had earlier overseen implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT) system across the states.

“The substantive business of today’s meeting was the election of the chairman. Mr Sushil Modi, the Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Bihar, has been elected unanimously as the chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers,” the Union Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.

Mr Mukherjee had invited all state Finance Ministers to Delhi today for the meeting of the Empowered Group after a gap of almost five months.

The post of the chairman of the group fell vacant after the defeat of Mr Dasgupta in the West Bengal Assembly polls in May. Mr Dasgupta, who was the West Bengal Finance Minister, had headed the Committee since its formation in early 2000s.

One of the major tasks before Mr Modi, as the new chairman, would be to build a consensus on the proposed GST regime, which has been pending for years.

Mr Mukherjee, however, said that details of the agenda are still to be worked out.

“Now, they (state Finance Ministers) are having discussions. Some formalities will have to be worked out and after that, the committee will work out a detailed work programme,” Mr Mukherjee said.

Published on July 18, 2011

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