GST to become reality soon: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday reiterated his stance on the Goods and Services (GST) Bill, saying that it would become a reality soon. Delivering the opening address at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Summit here on National Strategy Day, Jaitley expressed confidence that both the GST Bill and Land Acquisition Bill would be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament.

“Obstacle to GST can’t be indefinite, one should expect GST to become a reality soon… GST is only a question of time; when it’s put to vote, we will be able to pass it,” he said.

The Finance Minister said that the Bankruptcy Bill would also be introduced during the Winter Session. He further said that the Indian economy must be strengthened so that the effect of the economic turmoil arising out of US Fed rate hike is minimal.

Earlier in September, the Finance Minister had hinted that the GST Bill could be implemented by April 1 next year. The government had even considered to convene a Special Session of Parliament to pass the GST bill when it could not be passed during the Monsoon Session.

The GST, which will subsume more than a dozen state levies to create a single market, is to be implemented from April next year. But, the deadline may be missed if Parliament does not pass the Constitution Amendment Bill in the upcoming Winter Session. The Congress is opposed to some provisions of the Bill.

The opposition Congress Party and its allies have been able to block the measure because Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist coalition lacks a majority in the Rajya Sabha.

Jaitley said that ‘tilt’ in the makeup of the upper house would make it easier to pass the GST. “When it is put to a vote, I am sure it would pass,” he said. The tax would create a single market in India for the first time and could boost the economy by as much as two percent, economists reckon.

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