FM Jaitley, economic secy Das stick to July deadline for GST rollout
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das are confident of the GST roll-out by July.business Updated: Feb 28, 2017 15:24 IST
The finance ministry is sticking to the July deadline for rolling out the goods and services tax (GST) even though the Centre and states are yet to finalise legislations for ushering in the country’s biggest tax reform.
Speaking at the UK-India Business Council meeting in London, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government hopes to get all GST-related laws passed in March. “The government will try to implement GST from July,” he said.
Separately, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said all states are on board for rolling out the new tax regime from July 1.
On February 18, the Centre and states agreed on the compensation rule but fell short of finalising the crucial bills on GST, fuelling speculation the government may miss the July deadline.
The GST Council, headed by Jaitley and represented by state finance ministers, will next meet on March 4-5 to finalise the CGST and IGST Bills so they could be introduced in the Parliament during the second half of the Budget session scheduled to start from March 9.
On March 4-5, the government will place legally vetted drafts for all important bills before the GST Council. Jaitley has indicated that another meeting after March 4-5 may be needed to give approval to those specific items in relation to each of the slabs.
Earlier, the GST Council agreed on a four-slab GST structure with 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%, and resolved the contentious “dual control” issue on the powers to assess taxpayers.
The Narendra Modi government is eager to implement GST from 2017, to lower the tax burden for the masses, shore up revenues, temper inflation and step up economic growth by 1-2 percentage points in the medium term.
On December 14, PM Modi asserted that the Constitutional amendment for GST has been passed and was expected to be implemented in 2017.