April 1 a stiff tar­get for GST roll­out: FM

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Timsy Jaipuria and Mahua Venkatesh let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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