The cess levied on aerated drinks, cigarettes and cars is set to become a bargaining chip in Centre-state talks on GST compensation, with the Centre offering to subsume a part of the levy into the GST rate after March 2026 to placate states, discussions within the government indicate.The Centre is likely to propose the cess, after giving some relief to the automobiles sector, be subsumed into GST after it expires in 2026, a suggestion that may please states worried about their financial position after June when the five-year compensation period ends. States are demanding that the Centre continue to compensate them for their revenue loss.