Uttar Pradesh defers implementation of VAT

Friday, 28 March 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government Thursday deferred the implementation of the new value-added tax (VAT) system, which was supposed to be introduced from April 1.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet that authorised Chief Minister Mayawati to take any further decision on the issue.

The decision followed repeated protests by the powerful trader community in large parts of the state.

"For the time being we have put it on hold at least until April 8, when the central empowered committee on VAT meets in New Delhi," Institutional Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal told reporters here Thursday.

Finance ministers of all states would take part in the meeting to be presided over by Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh.

Asked what led the government to defer the imposition of VAT, Agarwal said, "we had no choice since other neighbouring states had failed to do so."

"After all the idea behind introduction of VAT in place of sales tax was to bring about uniformity and that could be possible only when it is enforced in all the states."

"If we were to implement the new taxation system unilaterally, it was bound to adversely affect the growth of both trade and industry," the minister added.

While traders of the state have welcomed the government's interim decision, they still propose to go ahead with their proposed strike on March 31 and April 1.
Source: IANS
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