The passage of the amendments in Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill is rather historic. Experts to social media community and people from different fields are trying to understand the bill and its bits and pieces.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his recent interview with a leading newspaper said that the government and states will work together to meet the April 1 rollout target.
He said, “I would call it a target date and it's good to have target. On various procedural issues as also on the rate, there will be a need for everybody to act and think carefully. The Centre will have to accommodate states and the states will have to accommodate the viewpoint of the Centre.”
Congress is insisting on standard 18% rate. What government thinks about it? “Revenues are collected in larger public interest and used for poverty alleviation schemes; developmental activity etc and therefore a cut in revenue could hurt public interest,” explained the Finance Minister.
“The revenue should be fair and it should be optimum. It should be affordable and it should be sufficient enough to meet the developmental needs. We are working on this aspect,” he added.
In Malaysia the introduced GST bill was conceptualized with no profit, no loss for industry so that actual benefit of GST is passed on. What are your views on that? “India is still far away from that kind of thinking. If the thinking comes within the council, then they will have to consider it first,” added Jaitley.
During the passage of the GST Bill, we saw that BJP and Congress are coming together for an important economic legislation. Can we expect more of such incidents? “It will depend on the subject matter. In this case, there was a very strong public opinion in its support and the states also adopted a very positive attitude,” said Arun Jaitleuy.
Several countries where GST was introduced witnessed an increase in inflation initially. Do you foresee a similar situation in India? On this the Finance Minister said, “There is no settled model on this. It will depend on the slabs and rates. A large number of commodities are GST-exempt too.”