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Arun Jaitley Seeks Support of States for GST Roll-Out

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Expressing government’s commitment to push growth, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the Centre and states need to work together to roll out Goods and Services Tax (GST), address supply side bottlenecks and take strict steps to check hoarding and black marketing to tame inflation, reports PTI.

Addressing the pre-budget consultative meeting of state Finance Ministers, he also underlined the need to break the vicious cycle of high inflation and high interest rates.

“Mandate of 2014 clearly spells out that economic growth cannot be compromised at any cost and is sine qua non to reap the benefits of the demographic dividend,” he said, adding that there is a need to “round off corners” towards GST implementation.

Finance Minister of several states demanded that the Centre address issues pertaining to compensation on account of revenue loss following roll-out of GST, which is being touted as the most significant indirect tax reform.

Jaitley during his address to state FMs said: “States must complement each other in managing the economy and fiscal policy, which is the essence of cooperative federalism. In doing so (we) must act like a team.”

He also sought states’ support in tackling fluctuation in prices.

“We also would like to evolve a mechanism, which addresses the structural issues that create supply bottlenecks. We need to look at the Essential Commodities Act and put in place strict measures and special courts to stop hoarding and black marketing,” he said.

As part of the economic integration, he further said, Goods and Services Tax (GST) is one pending issue, on which now consensus needs to be built and “implementation done at an early date”.

“Implementation of GST has the potential to significantly improve the growth story…there are some vexatious issues which only need resolution. I wish and hope that these will be sorted out sooner than later,” he said.

Earlier in the day, President Pranab Mukherjee said curbing food inflation was topmost priority of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.

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