Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that major issues on the Goods and Services Tax have been resolved and the new regime will be implemented from April 1, 2017.
“A lot of distance has been covered as far as GST is concerned,” Mr. Jaitley said at the Economics Editors’ Conference. “It is the consensus approach that we have been following. And one of the objects have been that since the GST Council is a federal decision making process and the manner in which it functions in the initial years will lay down a precedent for the future.”
“Rather than resorting to voting and divisions on every issue, we have been trying to discuss, re-discuss and then reach a consensus and so far most of the major issues we have been able to resolve through a consensus,” he said. “Only the last stages remain and I do hope that we are able to resolve that with a larger consensus also.”
Decisiveness An important feature of this government, the Finance Minister said, was its decisiveness.
“But despite decisiveness, we have endeavoured our best to take as many decisions as possible through a large consensus,” Mr. Jaitley said. “We have not delayed decisions indefinitely looking for a consensus, but we have created a space and environment for that consensus.”
He added that, along with GST, the government had been implementing parallel reforms in direct taxes.
“If you look at some of the important directional decisions, I think one of the most obvious ones pending for a long time was that the different sectors of the economy needed to be opened up,” Mr. Jaitley said. “They needed to be opened up because you needed a lot of foreign investment, which is an engine of growth.”