KOCHI: Petroleum products should be brought under the GST, said Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and head of the Group of Ministers for tackling IT-related glitches in the GST network, here on Thursday.“Many states are of the view that petrol and diesel should come under the new tax regime, while some have apprehensions,” Modi, who is also a member of the GST Council, told reporters.
“In the coming days, the issues will be resolved and I think very soon petroleum products would also become part of the GST. But I can’t say it will happen tomorrow or next month.”
But Modi, holding the portfolio of Finance in Bihar, clarified that it was his “personal opinion”.
He said, across the globe, petroleum products were part of a central tax system.“I’m confident that in the coming days the economy will grow and the teething problems would be tackled,” said the Bihar Dy CM who chaired the ministerial panel meeting last month to set up a road map for resolving issues in the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN).
While admitting there could be some problems in the initial days of GST implementation, he said the economy will be on a far stronger track in the coming days. According to him, the difficulties experienced in the first 100 days after the implementation of GST were similar to that of the introduction of VAT.
“When you build a house, you will have to face many difficulties. Even after finishing it, you will have to face with some glitches. The same thing is happening with GST. When VAT was introduced, though there was compensation for the first three years, no state demanded this after the second year as the revenue recorded a growth of 15 to 20 percent,” he said.
He said if P Chidambaram had initiated moves to clear the doubts of the states while he was the Finance Minister, GST would have been implemented at the time of UPA and refuted reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was against GST while being the Gujarat Chief Minister.“Narendra Modi or Gujarat never opposed GST. Never, never, never. It was in the manifesto of the BJP and I was the chairman of the empowered committee constituted by the then Prime Minister,” he said.
Touching upon the concerns raised by many states about the loss of revenue when GST is implemented, Sushil Modi said: “Gujarat had expressed a concern of losing over Rs 7,000 crore as purchase tax, Punjab had a concern of losing nearly Rs 3,000 crore under the same head while Maharashtra’s concern was on OCTROI of more than Rs 3,000 crore. However, Chidambaram was not willing to address this concern with a one-to-one with the finance ministers of the respective states. This led to the delay in the implementation of GST. The historic decision of the century was possible only due to the intervention of Arun Jaitley who took all the states into confidence.”He said the GST Council Meeting from November 9 to 10 at Guwahati will address a couple of problems after the implementation of GST.