New Delhi, April 22:
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said he was optimistic that the pan-India Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be implemented from April 1, 2016, with the mood among the states quite positive now over the benefits of this unified regime.
“We are trying our best to work up to an endeavour where, with the support of IT backbone, which has been created, we will try and maintain the target date of April 1, 2016. We are, as of today quite optimistic,” Jaitley told reporters after meeting with his state counterparts.
“Today the positives are that states are quite determined. They see the obvious benefits of the goods and services tax. Its a genuine relationship between the centre and the states. Broadly, the approach of the states and the centre are converging in the same direction.”
The finance minister, who addressed the first meeting of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Goods and Services Tax under its new chair, Kerala Finance Minister K.M. Mani, also said the proposed new regime will go a long way in creating one market in India.
“Its going to be a win-win situation for all. We will go ahead with the constitutional amendment in the current session of the Parliament. Thereafter there will be three legislations, which the empowered committee will work on,” the finance minister said.
The panel, he added, will also take up the suggestions of some sub-groups.
“The Bill has already been introduced. Its a constitutional amendment. It will need the support of two-third members of both houses of parliament,” said the finance minister, as his party-led government has been appealing to the opposition to ensure its smooth passage.
Earlier, Mani had told reporters here that there was no “obstinate opposition” adopted by any state to the proposed new tax regime and that a consensus will certainly be built to ensure its implementation from April next year.
A meeting of the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had last month approved the payment of compensation to states for the losses they would incur on account of not levying sales tax, as also a reduction in their share of the central taxes. (IANS)