NEW DELHI : Seeking to set at rest all doubts, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the government is in a state of preparedness for the roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1 and asked the industry to fall in line as there will be no change in the date of implementation of the new indirect tax regime. "GST decisions are all taken by consensus and so far we have succeeded in maintaining the consensus.
In Srinagar meeting of the Council, ministers of almost all states who spoke to me were absolutely clear on maintaining the July 1 date. We are in a state of preparedness for July 1," he told a media conference here.
He was replying to a question on West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra's comment that there were serious doubts about the preparedness of the industry for GST by July 1.
"We are passing through a phase where government is in all steps ahead of the industry. So I will expect the industry also, all those sections who are saying they are not, to fall in line because we are quite clear about the date," he said.
When asked about the concerns of some of the industry members on the GST rates, the Finance Minister said that there is a mechanism in the Council for fitment where all the officials meet and discuss the existing rates and fit them in the slabs after consideration.
"First time in the country the consensus on indirect taxation was created through federal institution. The process to implement GST is in its last phase. When it is implemented, it will be a major taxation reform," he said.
Refuting any negative impact of GST on the country's growth, Jaitley said, "I see no reason why there will be any adverse impact of GST. GST by itself should normally add to growth."
Chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, who was also present at the press conference, said that GST will bring down the incidence of taxes which will have a positive impact on the country's growth.
"The incidence of taxation is going to come down. It is like a tax cut which will both reduce prices and increase consumption. There may be some teething implementation challenges but economic effects of a tax cut will be positive to reduce inflation and stimulate consumption," Subramanian said.
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