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Decision to introduce VAT welcomed

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, JAN. 18. The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) has welcomed the decision of the Centre to introduce value added tax (VAT) and urged the State Government to immediately hold meetings with the trade and industry bodies so that it will be ready with the fine print by February 1, 2005.

The federation president, Manandi N. Suresh, said the White Paper on State-level VAT brought out by the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on VAT envisaging commodity tax reforms is a welcome step. VAT, he said, will be based on documentation, self-policing and self-assessment and relieve the industry of the hassles of the "inspector-raj."

Move hailed

The Karnataka Small-scale Industries Association (KASSIA) has welcomed the Centre's decision to introduce value added tax (VAT) from April 1.

In a press release here today, Mahadev S. Dhadd, president of KASSIA, said the White Paper on VAT released by the Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, has made the decision of the Government clear. KASSIA expects the State Governments to introduce VAT in accordance with the decision taken by the Centre. The introduction of VAT will minimise tax evasion and reduce the cost of products.

Suggestion

The Bangalore Wholesale Foodgrains and Pulses Merchants' Association has suggested that VAT on essential commodities such as pulses, wheat, wheat products, oilseeds, jaggery and rice should be 1 per cent and not 4 per cent as suggested in the White Paper.

The association president, Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, expressed surprise that liquor has been exempted and 1 per cent VAT suggested on gold and silver, while the rate for essential commodities is 4 per cent.

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