Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday reiterated the government is confident of meeting the April 2017 target to implement the Goods and Services Tax as state finance ministers cooperate to make the single tax reform a reality soon.
“(I) haven’t seen finance ministers of state dividing themselves on party lines. If that trend goes on, I am certain it may be reasonably possible for us to meet the deadline however difficult it may be,“ Jaitley said while speaking at the 3rd SBI Banking and Economics Conclave here.
The GST Council recently held its first meeting and is still a long way from arriving at a uniform GST rate. In the last Parliament session, the government amended the Constitution to provide for uniform tax rates more than a decade after it was first proposed.
Jaitley also said that the protectionist policies practiced by several global economies are hindering global trade. “There is increased evidence of protectionism and when the emphasis on protectionism comes from the most developed economies of the world, it’s not a good sign,“ he said.
Jaitley also said the threat posed by terrorist activities are consuming resources which could have otherwise been used for economic development.
“We also have a major security challenge, and therefore security challenges also involve an element of uncertainty. They also involve a lot of national resources being diverted in that direction.“ Jaitley said. “And security challenges will always be a priority over every other requirement of the country because sovereignty of the country is the first priority.“ – www.economictimes.indiatimes.com [28-09-2016]