Punjab Planning and Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, has maintained Punjab is ready for implementation of GST by 2011, provided the centre could exclude purchase tax. Manpreet Badal was speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a conference organised for chairpersons and member secretaries (deputy commissioners) of all the District Planning Committees of Punjab.

“With 148 countries across the world already implementing, GST, Punjab has no objection in implementing Goods and Service Tax (GST) provided purchase tax is kept out of the purview of GST”.

Purchase tax is the tax charged on charged on the purchase of food grain from Punjab, for the central pool. The FM reiterated state could lose revenue to the tune of more than Rs 1,000 crore if purchase tax was made part of the GST.

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Earlier, speaking at conference of Chairpersons and Member Secretaries of the Punjab District Planning Committees (DPC), Badal said the district planning committee played a crucial role in implementing the welfare scheme promoted by both centre as well as state for interest of masses.

Since many members of DPC members themselves are not aware of the schemes being run by the government the conference would provide an opportunity to discuss the vital fiscal and administrative powers of the District Planning Committees to make them effective tool of economic development and social change.

The finance minister also suggested that conference of DPC should be institutionalised and be a biannual conference which should be held first in the month of June and then in Dec. with an objective to closely monitor the ongoing schemes on regular basis and also to do progressive planning for the schemes to be launched for the next year.

Seeking the cooperation of the people in executing the welfare schemes/ at the districts levels, the minister announced that matching grants would be given to those districts where peoples participation would be there.1

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