NEW DELHI: Following reports that there might be a delay in the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley cited constitutional compulsion to drive home the point that the Goods and Services Tax has to rolled out before September 16 next year as existing indirect taxes will come to an end by then and it would be impossible to run the country without revenue collection.
Terming the new GST as a game changer, he said it would have be to be rolled out as soon as possible. “The Constitution does not permit delay in GST implementation. The government notified GST on September 16 and the constitutional amendment itself says the current indirect tax system can continue for one year, after which the GST has to come.”
So, if as on September 16, 2017, there is no GST, then there is no taxation in the country, he stated. “You have a constitutional compulsion to have a Goods and Services Tax in place before September 16 (2017), otherwise the country doesn’t run, and the tax is absolutely essential. Therefore, our intention is it gets implemented from April 1, 2017, that was the original intention,” he said. He also pointed out that states should not oppose every reform for the sake of opposition because that makes investors wary.
Jaitley also made a pitch for widening the tax base, pointing out that efforts are on to make taxation process far simpler and make rates more reasonable.
“Today, each person gets assessed thrice, in each of the three taxations (including VAT and central excise). Now, you will only be assessed once and what one authority assesses, others will have to accept that assessment,” he said.