GST a key factor in improving ease of doing business: Das

Says administrative machinery is fully geared both at states and central level to implement GST at the earliest

Expecting an early passage of goods and services tax (GST) Bill by Parliament, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said administrative machinery is ready to implement the new indirect tax regime, which will be a key component in improving ease of doing business.

“I think the biggest contribution to ease of doing business in our country will be made if GST is implemented in time. We are quite hopeful and optimistic that Parliament will definitely very soon appreciate the urgency of GST and have the Constitution Amendment Bill passed,” he said.

Addressing industry leaders at a CII event here, Das said the administrative machinery is “fully geared” both at states and central level to implement the GST at the earliest.

“GST is critical component of improving ease of doing business. Apart from having a common market, which will make our cost of production and our competitiveness far more effective…(GST) will also make a big contribution to logistic cost and transactions costs that we today are faced as economy,” the Secretary said.

Quoting an estimate, Das said a truck carrying goods, on an average, remain stranded at different check points for 48 hours.

Implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) will help in removing such bottlenecks, the Secretary said.

The GST bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in May last year and is pending ratification by the Rajya Sabha or Upper House, where the ruling NDA does not have a majority. Congress is opposing the bill in current form and demanding that a cap on GST rate be included in the Constitution Amendment Bill.

Keen on getting the much delayed GST bill approved by Parliament in second half of the Budget Session beginning next month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently said he will reach out to the Congress again to persuade it to support the legislation.

The GST Bill, India’s biggest indirect tax reform since independence, seeks to replace a slew of central and state levies, transforming the nation of 1.3 billion people into a customs union.

After it is approved by the Rajya Sabha, the legislation needs to be ratified by half of the 29 states so as to roll out GST possibly by October 1.


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