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Hope there will be a breakthrough in GST: PM Modi ahead of Budget session

india Updated: Mar 14, 2017 14:11 IST
HT Correspondent
PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes an address outside Parliament ahead of the second half of the budget session.(pmindia.gov.in)

Racing against time to roll out the country’s biggest tax reform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government hopes to get Parliament’s approval for the crucial legislation needed to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) possibly from July.

The apex tax body GST Council, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, on Saturday approved the Central GST and Integrated GST Bills, clearing the decks for the GST roll out.

“We hope that there will be a breakthrough on the GST because all states have positively cooperated. All political parties have also extended cooperation in a positive way,” Modi told reporters outside Parliament ahead of the second half of the Budget session.

“We are meeting after a break and the budget proposals will be discussed in details,” he said.

Urging political parties to participate and support the GST bills, he said: “I believe that the level of discussion will go to a higher level. Attention will be drawn towards the issues related to the poor people.”

“We are moving ahead with the consent of all through a democratic process,” he said.

GST is perceived to unite the country into a common market, shore up revenues and accelerate economic growth by 1-2 percentage points.

Following the clearance from the GST Council, the government plans to introduce CGST and IGST Bill. After it is ratified, the states will introduce the State GST (SGST) Bill in their respective legislative Assemblies.

The Central and state officials will soon start the exercise to determine which goods and services should fall in which tax bracket and the same will be taken to the Council for approval soon.

The GST Council will also have to decide the goods and services that would attract a cess on top of the peak rate to create a corpus that can be used to compensate states for any loss of revenue from implementation of GST in the first five years.

The Constitutional amendment that paved the introduction of GST is due to lapse in mid-September this year.