April 1 a stiff target for GST rollout: FM
The April 1, 2017 deadline for the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), India’s biggest tax reform since Independence, is a “stiff target”, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.
Making no commitment on the rollout date, Jaitley told a press conference, “I think we are going to try to make it as reasonably quick as possible. Now, what’s the date by which we are able to make it will have to be seen. It is always good to set stiff targets and try and meet them rather than have no targets at all.”
His remarks came a day after Rajya Sabha passed a bill to amend the Constitution, paving the way for the reform that aims to replace various local and central taxes with a single tax. The bill now needs to be passed by Lok Sabha and then ratified by at least 15 states.
Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the government was doing its best to meet the deadline. “We are prepared with the IT but the implementation of GST by April 1, 2017 will depend on the GST council and the time the states take to come to a consensus,” he told HT.