The states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi have agreed to set up a zonal economic intelligence unit to check evasion of taxes and prevent smuggling of goods, Delhi government officials said on Thursday.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia held a meeting with the deputy chief minister of Punjab and finance ministers of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to discuss uniformity in state taxes and the development of a common market.
Punjab was represented by deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa. Haryana sent finance minister Captain Abhimanyu and Himachal Pradesh, finance minister Parkash Chaudhary.
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“At the end of the meeting, they decided that there should be uniformity in rates of VAT on all goods, especially the goods in which trade diversion takes place with minimum difference in the sale price. A zonal economic intelligence unit should be established to avoid cross-border smuggling of goods,” a Delhi government official said.
Officials added that a committee of secretaries or commissioners of finance or taxation departments of the northern states will be formed to achieve the objectives discussed in the meeting.
”The committee shall meet within a week’s time or so to finalise the matter. The decisions of the committee should be implemented in a time-bound manner, preferably within a month. The Punjab commissioner for excise and taxation will coordinate the meeting,” said the government official. The committee, he said, will also deliberate on policy matters once it meets its objectives.