Hard to predict timeline for GST implementation, says Jayant Sinha

The minister said he was hopeful that both the bills for GST and bankruptcy code will be passed in the next session of the Parliament.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published:December 24, 2015 2:37 am
Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha (centre) at the launch of guidance material for post-award contract management of PPP projects during a function in New Delhi on Wednesday.   (Source: PTI) Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha (centre) at the launch of guidance material for post-award contract management of PPP projects during a function in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Source: PTI)

The government is hopeful of passage of Constitution amendment bill for Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the Budget Session of Parliament, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Wednesday.

“GST is a transaction tax and because GST is a transaction tax it can be put in place overnight. Administratively we are ready to go for April 1, 2016, if indeed the constitutional amendment is passed in the budget session,” Sinha told reporters at the sidelines of an event organised by Department of Economic Affairs of Ministry of Finance.

The minister said he was hopeful that both the bills for GST and bankruptcy code will be passed in the next session of the Parliament.

“So we are hopeful of both GST as well as bankruptcy code and if all parties work together too, to think about the interest of the nation, rather than pursuing their vested interest, then we’ll be in a situation where we will be able to give double booster shot to the economy with GST Constitution amendment passed as well as bankruptcy,” Sinha said.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday referred the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to a 30-member joint committee of Parliament, which will submit its report in the first week of the Budget Session.

On the deadline for rollout of the proposed GST and if it will be rolled out in middle of next financial year, the minister said it was hard to predict a deadline for it and it will depend on the legislative calendar.

Terming the Winter session as “disappointing”, Sinha said Congress had decided to wreck the Indian economy by stalling Parliament.

“Overall it’s been a very disappointing session in Parliament. Obviously our expectation was that we will be able to get the GST constitution amendment bill passed. There was a very broad consensus across all parties. Unfortunately, the Congress party has decided, it wants to wreck the Indian economy,” he said.

Commenting on the conditions proposed by Congress, the minister said, “If you look at the conditions that have been laid out by Congress, we think the solutions that we’ve offered are very reasonable and any party that sees merit in logical argument would very quickly accept what we’re suggesting as solution. If we have a meeting with the minds of Opposition on substance not on politics then I don’t see any reason why the constitution amendment cannot be passed in the Budget session.”

He added that Negotiable Instruments Act and sending of the bankruptcy code to a joint select committee were the only “only saving grace” of Winter session.

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned sine die on Wednesday, with passage of 13 and 9 bills, respectively by both the Houses of Parliament.

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