No deferring GST launch: FM

New Delhi: Yet again ruling out deferring the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday appealed to the opposition parties, their MPs and states where these parties run the governments to attend the midnight launch of the new tax law in Parliament on June 30.

“It is neither partisan nor dictated by any pressure. I appeal to all the parties, states and MPs to attend the function in the spirit of consensus that guided the making of the law,” he told a press conference here.

Jaitley was replying to a question on the proposed plans of the opposition parties and their MPs to keep away from the midnight launch and demands for deferring the launch by 6 months.

“There is a constitutional mandate that on September 15 you will lose the right to collect taxes. So alternate system has to come into place. Hopefully by that the system will smoothen out. Those who are talking about deferring by 6 months, it is constitutionally impermissible. I hope Jammu and Kashmir is able to do it soon. I have emphasised that by the time they don’t join, the traders will be paying tax on inputs and final product. It will be more as compared to rest of the states. It is in the interest of the state and consumers and traders,” he said.

Jaitley said that all decisions related to GST were taken by consensus at all stages — passing of the law in parliament, assemblies and on the legislative changes.

Asked about apprehensions among various sections about the provisions of the new law, he said, “All GST-related decisions, I don’t see much of a problem. Small issues will always be there. The system is fully geared up. System will eventually smoothen itself out. The date of implementation has always been decided by consensus by GST Council, not by centre.”

To a question about the non-passage of the new law in Jammu and Kashmir, the Finance Minister said that it would only adversely affect the consumers and the businesses in the state because they would not get input credit and would be paying for the final product. The prices in Jammu and Kashmir would be higher than the prices in other states.

Also, he said, the state would not be able to collect taxes because the existing laws would cease to operate from September 15.

He said that the centre was always working with an open mind. “The GST Council has set up its own processes. The council examines through fitment committee. They decide on merit. It is collectively decided. I can assure that every decision has been merit-based. It is neither partisan nor dictated by any pressure.” (IANS)

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