Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today rejected demands for deferring the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout saying the Constitution does not give luxury to delay the nation’s biggest economic reform by six months.
Not ruling out a few initial glitches when more than a dozen state and central taxes are abolished and barriers between 29 states done away with, Jaitley said the system is fully geared up and will eventually smoothen itself out.
“Those who are talking in terms of deferring (GST) by 6 months and so on, that’s a constitutionally impossible thing,” the finance minister said.
While there have been sporadic protests in some cities against implementing the GST without giving businesses more time to prepare, Trinamool Congress has decided not to attend the gala event planned in Central Hall of Parliament on June 30 midnight to usher in the mega tax reform.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed the “hurried” roll out of the GST as “epic blunder” by the Centre and demanded deferring it by six months to help small businesses. Jaitley, however, said the date of GST implementation, rules and tax rates had been decided through a consensus by the GST Council — a body that is made up of representatives from each state as also the central government.