Reports said that FM may meet states finance ministers on Thursday to discuss other indirect tax proposals for the Budget, such as service tax and excise duty rates, exemptions and credit rules, which will pave the way for GST.
The implementation of GST has been delayed by over three years. In his Budget speech of 2007-08, Chidambaram had announced the implementation of GST from April 1, 2010. The second deadline for GST was April 2012 and that too was missed amid conflicts with states. Now, there are hopes that the GST regime will come into effect by April 1, 2014.
Meanwhile, the states have broadly agreed to make GST optional, provide a floor rate with a narrow band, and do away with the dispute resolution panel, among other things. However, this requires a change in Constitutional Amendment Bill which means it needs to be approved by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting in each House of Parliament.
Chidambaram had last month indicated that he was ready to make GST a part of his Budget speech even if states gave their consent just a few days before February 28.