The introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) in the country will be delayed beyond the revised deadline of 1 April 2011 after the central and state governments failed to resolve differences over the issue of autonomy.
The necessarily constitutional amendment is unlikely to be introduced in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament despite assurances by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to state government that the law would in no way curb their fiscal powers.
Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who held a meeting with the empowered committee of state finance ministers on Wednesday to finalise the draft Constitution amendments on the goods and services tax, agreed on a third draft that would address states' concerns.
"Some states sought more time, about a month or so and union finance minister has agreed," Asim Dasgupta, West Bengal finance minister and chairman of the empowered committee of state finance ministers, said on Wednesday.
However, he said the panel had left the decision to introduce the bill in the monsoon session on union finance minister.
Mukherjee also tried to defend the draft bill saying, "As per Article 265 of the Constitution "no tax can be levied or collected except by authority of law." He also said, "The primacy of the legislature in the area of taxation is supreme and inalienable and the proposed draft did not seek to disturb or alter this in any manner.'