NEW DELHI: Finance minister Arun Jaitley has decided to skip the G20 finance ministers’ meet in China beginning next Tuesday( July 19), since one of the major agendas of the government is to pass the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 18.
Senior finance ministry officials led by the economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das will represent India at the G20.
Jaitley is expected to play a critical role with the other two ministers of state — Santosh Kumar Gangwar and Arjun Ram Meghwal— joining the ministry just a few weeks ago.
“The FM is not attending the meeting because it is clashing with the Parliament session… this is crucial as there is hope that the GST Bill will get passed,” an official source, who did not wish to be identified, told HT.
Passing the GST Bill in the current session of Parliament is crucial for meeting the April 1,2017 deadline for rolling out the indirect tax regime. “Congress has finally agreed to relent on the provisions for a cap of the GST rate. So the government doesn’t want to take any chances,” said a finance ministry official who did not wish to be named.
“Congress still want some kind of assurance that the GST rate will not be higher than 18%. So it is important to keep strategies ready,” said another top finance ministry official.
The GST Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha, but is stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority.