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‘Target date for introduction of GST is April 1, 2016’: Jaitley

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New Delhi, Aug. 11 : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that the target date for introduction of the Goods and Services Tax, that would create an enabling environment in terms of the legal regime required for introduction of the GST in this country, is April 1, 2016.

“The Constitutional Amendment to introduce the Goods and Services Tax would create an enabling environment in terms of the legal regime required for introduction of the GST in this country. The target date for introduction of GST is the April 1, 2016,” he told the media here.

He said that the GST has many special features and advantages.

“It creates India into one uniform market which effectively means that one-sixth of the global population, within the country will be one market, which will have a uniform rate of taxation for both goods and services,” he said.

“There will be a seamless transfer of goods and services across the country. It will help eventually to bring down prices because there will be no tax on tax. Today, tax paid at various stages gets added to the cost and then after including the tax component, the next tax is imposed,” he added.

The Finance Minister also said that the lack of viability, because India is not a uniform market as yet, also hinders free trade.

“This will eliminate corruption, harassment to the entire trading community, this will enlarge the overall kitty of taxation and this will greatly be greatly to the advantage of the consuming states, which are lesser developed states,” he added.

Jaitley said that it was in 2006 that the Congress mooted the proposal and in 2011 it was the Congress UPA Government which introduced the GST but failed to bring a consensus among the states.

“In less than a year, it was the NDA Government-led by Narendra Modi which brought about consensus of all the states. All the features of the GST Bill are a result of that consensus. The standing committee has cleared it. The Lok Sabha has cleared it. The Congress wanted it, in the last session, to be sent to the Rajya Sabha select committee. It was an understanding that it would be cleared in the next session. Regrettably, they have gone back on their words,” he added. (ANI)