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Running against time on GST: Finance Minister

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The government is racing against time to meet the 1 April 2017 implementation date for the goods and services tax (GST) but will strive to meet this deadline, said finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Running against time on GST: Finance Minister
The Parliament secretariat is currently in the process of collecting the details of the proceedings of the state assemblies

Speaking at an event, ‘The Economist – India Summit 2016’, Jaitley said the government so far is on course to meet this national aspiration but challenges lie ahead.

“It is a very stiff target. We are running against time. But I would certainly like to give it a try (achieving implementation deadline of 1 April 2017),” said Jaitley.

The Constitution amendment bill for GST, which received Parliament’s nod last month, has been ratified by more than 50 per cent of the states. Jaitley said that the procedural formalities of collecting proceedings of all the states and sending it to the President for ratification are on.  Following this, the government will notify the bill and constitute the council—the representative body compromising the Union finance minister and state finance ministers.

Once the assent is granted by President Pranab Mukherjee, the constitution amendment bill will have to be notified. After notification and constitution of the GST Council, he said, there are obviously some pending issues, which the council will have to resolve.

“If you ask me in terms of economic priorities even outside Parliament, I would say that certainly implementation of GST is the top priority, putting the bank on track is a very important priority and the stalled projects, a lot of them have been cleared and this process must continuously go on… I think these are the obvious priorities,” Jaitley said.