Arun Jaitley: Govt committed to passage of GST in July

  New Delhi, May 14 (PTI) Hitting out at opposition for dragging its feet on the GST Bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said “nobody should get a thrill by delaying GST” as the proposed indirect tax reform would improve revenue and growth.

  He also said “we must pass it come what may in July”.

  The GST Bill, which was approved by the Lok Sabha, could not pass muster in the Rajya Sabha and was referred to the select committee for scrutiny.

  “If it (GST) is going to create India into a one unified market and (promote) free flow of goods and services, facilitate free trade, going to improve revenues of the states, going to improve revenues of Centre, going to improve India’s GDP, then nobody should get a thrill in delaying GST,” the Finance Minister said.

  GST, which seeks to subsume indirect taxes like services tax, excise and local levies, “is a national agenda, he said, adding that “therefore we must pass it come what may in July”.

  The government proposes to roll out the GST from April 1, 2016.  The select committee is scheduled to submit its report to the Rajya Sabha on the first week of the monsoon likely to begin sometime in July.

  “Thereafter, the House can approve what is suggested.

It takes only half a day to the reach the other house.

That is not a time consuming process,” he said.

  “GST is not a political agenda,” he said, adding the bill should have really been passed in this session as it had been scrutinised by the Standing Committee on Finance and most of the recommendations have been taken on board.

  The government has introduced only one additional clause of one per cent additional tax up to a maximum of 2 years to address the concerns of the manufacturing states to “maintain a balance between Parliamentary wisdom and consensus with states.”

  “And for some reasons the principal opposition, the Congress party took a view that it needs one more committee.

 Surprisingly because it was their own bill and it has been improved upon by a standing committee,” Jaitley said.

  Besides, he said, Congress’ own chief ministers are privy to the empowerd committee which has approved it.



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