Theoretically GST can be introduced by October: Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister
Supriya Shrinate: But now that it is done, do you believe you can make the audacious attempt that aiming at 10% growth rate in this term of your government?
Arun Jaitley : Well I still feel very high growth rates are possible when the global winds are in support. When the global winds are obstructive, trade shrinks, commodity prices are low, then to reach very high rates of growth is extremely challenging. India, of course, did manage 7.2% and 7.6% in the last two years despite a bad monsoon. Hopefully, we should improve on that if the monsoons is looked to be much better and I think a lot would depend on how the global environment is.
Now as far as the deadline is concerned, it is a very challenging deadline for the reason that now it has to be approved by the Lok Sabha, then by the State Assemblies that I think is the easier part.
Thereafter, all the procedural modalities will have to be done starting with the two laws to be approved by Indian Parliament and one law to be approved by all the State Assemblies that is going to be a time consuming process and you are going to be cutting it very fine thereafter. Subsequently, you will also have to have all the functional modalities worked out between the centre and the state so that the same assessee is not assessed by two different authorities. Then, the very purpose of GST itself would be defeated. So where do you divide the cut offs and that is a legitimate view some of the states have said that we must have clear jurisdictions defined.
Supriya Shrinate: The reason why I am asking that question is that lot of what needs to be done here after whether it is rates, whether it is threshold, whether it is dual control lies in the realm of the GST council where decisions are going to be far more political than technical. That may delay things. If things get delayed, do you plan to introduce the GST mid-year, if need be, say the 1st of October?
Arun Jaitley : Well theoretically not being an income tax law, it can be, that is possible. It is a transactional tax. Theoretically that is possible but I think our current effort has to be that so far the empowered committee has good leadership, it has functioned well and once it converts itself into a GST Council with the central government also as a member though even today we coordinate with them,