Monday, November 29, 1999

Put pressure on policy makers for GST rollout, FM tells ind

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Surat, June 16 (PTI) Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today asked the trade and commerce fraternity to mount pressure on policymakers for smooth implementation of the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) within the committed timeframe. Mukherjee''s statement comes at a time when the Centre and states are struggling hard to find a common ground for introducing GST, which has already missed the earlier deadline of April 1, 2010. Speaking at the annual installation ceremony of the South Gujarat Chambers of Commerce here, Mukherjee said, "Change in the present system to a new one is bound to find resistance." "I urge the trade and commerce fraternity to mount pressure on policymakers for smooth convergence, which would lead to implementation of GST in a committed time frame," the Union Minister said. The Centre and states have not agreed on many aspects of GST so far, including the structure of tax rate on goods. While states want two slabs for tax on goods, the Centre wants one. GST is expected to replace most indirect taxes in the country, including excise duty, service tax at the level of Centre and Vat at the states'' end, besides local levies. Mukherjee said a good monsoon will revive the growth momentum to achieve the target set during the Budget, as the economy remained under pressure due to the vagaries of weather and recessionary pressures emanating from the world economy last year. The minister also said India has achieved a comfortable level of foreign direct investment by crossing the USD 20.9 billion mark.

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