Arun Jaitley terms GST ‘monumental reform’

Mumbai (Maharashtra): A day after former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan criticised the Goods and Service Tax (GST), Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday came out in defence of the indirect taxation reform terming it as “monumental”.

Brushing off Rajan’s remark, the finance minister said that the GST disrupted the growth only for two quarters.
Earlier, Rajan had blamed GST for derailing India’s growth story and hurting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expansion.

“You will always have critics and cynics who will come up and say it (GST) slowed down India’s growth,” Jaitley said without taking any specific name while speaking at Union Bank of India’s 100th-anniversary celebrations event here over a video link.

Jaitley said that India’s growth increased from 7 percent to 7.7 percent and then to 8.2 percent last quarter. He also underlined that the growth rate was higher than the 5-6 per cent expansion achieved between the periods of 2012- 2014.

“GST which was spoken of for years but nobody had the capacity to create a federal institution of this kind to combine 17 taxes into one and implement it. The implementation which took a few weeks and months to settle down has been one of the smoothest implementations in the world,” he asserted.

GST was rolled out in the intervening night of June 30 and July 1, last year.