Changeover to GST: Nobody has luxury of time, says Jaitley


Current model of taxation will lapse on September 16, 2017

Sending a message to states to quickly resolve contentious issues around GST, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday reminded them that the current system of taxation (excise, customs and service tax) would expire on September 16, 2017.

The Constitutional Amendment to enable GST introduction had given only a one-year window for existing models of taxation to continue, Jaitley said at the 89th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in the Capital.

With the Constitutional amendment happening on September 16 this year, the Centre and the states have time until September 16, 2017, to get the necessary legislative changes effected for GST implementation.

“Nobody has luxury of time”, Jaitley noted, while urging the states to come on board.

Jaitley said the range of time available for putting the legal framework in place will be April 1-September 16, 2017.

At least three Bills — Central GST, iGST and State GST — have to be enacted into law. The main contentious issue around GST introduction is the “dual control” aspect as regards assessment.

On demonetisation, Jaitley said there would only be long-term benefits for the country although there is short-term pain.

In his address, the outgoing FICCI President Harshvaradhan Neotia lauded the Modi-led Government’s measures — income declaration scheme, foreign black money declaration scheme, benami law, demonetisation — in fighting black money, reducing corruption and taking India to a more organised and digitised economic environment.

“While these laudable but simultaneously disruptive measures unfold and push people towards changing deeply engraved habits of the past, we need to be mindful of their implications in the short term

“These measures should be accompanied with complementary steps of tax reduction, interest rate cuts and accelerating infrastructure investments to arrest any possible slowdown in the the country resets and adjusts to the new more digital and fiscal architecture,” Neotia said.

Neotia urged Jaitley to take proactive measures in the upcoming Budget and consider other policy initiatives to see that India further accelerates its economic growth.



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