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Running Against Time on GST Implementation, Says Arun Jaitley


New Delhi: Terming April 1, a very stiff target, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the government is “running against time” for the implementation of Goods and Service Tax, but added that he would certainly like to give it a try.

The Centre is aiming to implement the landmark indirect tax regime, GST, from April 2017.

“We have kept a very stiff target and the reason is that there is a great national aspiration in support of a reform that GST is, and state after state within a period of 20-25 days have kept on ratifying it because they stand to benefit the most,” Jaitley said at the Economist India Summit.

The procedural formalities of collecting proceedings of all the states and sending it to the President for ratification are on, he said.

Once the assent is granted by President Pranab Mukherjee, the Constitution Amendment Bill will have to be notified.
After notification and constitution of the GST Council, Jaitley said, there are obviously some pending issues, which the council will have to resolve.

“So we have the months of September and October and parts of November to do that. So there is a lot of work to do and if you are able to successfully transact those issues, then in the Winter Session of Parliament the central legislations, with some drafts in public domain, will have to be brought in.

“The states will have to pass their own legislations. Now if we look ahead, it’s a very stiff target, we are running against time. I would certainly like to give it a try,” Jaitley said when asked about the timeframe for implementation of the GST.

Jaitley added that the passage of central laws, GST Bill and the IGST, are among the important economic legislations for the government.

“But more important along with these legislations is I think if you ask me in terms of economic priorities even outside Parliament I would say that certainly implementation of GST is the top priority…,” he added.

Parliament has passed the Constitution Amendment Bill for introduction of GST. The requisite number of states also have passed the Bill.

GST will subsume most of the indirect taxes.


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