The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers will form joint committees at the level of the states for inputs on the proposed goods and services tax before its planned introduction next year.“A joint committee at the level of the states will be made and that will be a part of the exercise for preparation to implement GST. The committee will be made along with other representatives of state associations and industry associations,” chairman of the empowered committee Asim Dasgupta said after a meeting with the Confederation of All India Traders.

Traders want GST to be imposed only by the states with the centre getting a cut of the revenue. The empowered committee recently came out with its first discussion paper on GST, on which stakeholders need to give comments and suggestion within a month. Dasgupta said that the IT structure also needs to be ready by mid-January for implementing the proposed indirect tax structure. The new tax structure that will do away with most of the indirect taxes at the Centre and the states level is scheduled for implementation from 1 April, 2010.

Asked about tax rates under the regime, he said: “The rates will take another month to be finalised.”

On spirits as a commodity being out of the GST regime, he said: “In the first phase of implementation we have kept it out as many states are very dependent on revenues from liquor sale.”

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