New Delhi: The empowered committee of state finance ministers does not have the mandate to discuss state revenues and taxing powers with the constitution of the goods and services tax (GST) Council, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said in a letter to the chairman of the committee.
Amit Mitra, West Bengal finance minister, is the chairman of the committee and Modi one of the earlier chairmen.
Modi has written the letter in response to the scheduled meeting of the empowered committee on 14 December to discuss issues like the 15th Finance Commission and state revenue resources outside GST.
“With the replacement of VAT/union excise duties/service tax with GST, the EC (empowered committee) has completed the task assigned to it. Further, the GST Council, established under the mandate of the constitution, comprises the finance ministers of the states who were also members of the EC. It is also important to note that most of the major indirect taxes are already subsumed in GST, taxes on fuel are moving towards sub-summation in GST and that the methodology of extending fuels can and should be discussed in the GST council," Modi wrote in his letter, adding that the empowered committee does not have a mandate to discuss issues listed in the agenda for next week’s meeting.
The empowered committee of state finance ministers was envisaged in 2000 to help the transition towards value added tax. Subsequently, the committee was also tasked with finalizing the blueprint of GST.
However, with the implementation of GST and the constitution of the GST Council, a federal decision making body, all decisions on the new indirect tax regime are taken by the Council.