Virtually All States Have Backed The Idea of GST, says Arun Jaitely
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday expressed hope of passing the Goods and Services Tax bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament and said that the "idea of GST" was virtually backed by every state in the meeting of empowered committee of state finance ministers (FMs) in Kolkata.
Post his meeting that was attended by a record 22 state Finance Ministers and around 100 representatives, Jaitley said that he is hoping to roll out GST by April 1, 2017.
Jaitley said that the "idea of GST was virtually backed by every state" except Tamil Nadu which has certain suggestions all of which have been noted and will be addressed.
This was yet another attempt by the Centre to muster support in Rajya Sabha for the GST Constitutional Amendment bill.
Reportedly, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaithaa is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening.
Earlier, Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha had claimed that the party won’t budge from its earlier position on GST unless the Centre agrees to its demands.
Congress had asked the GST rate to be capped at 18% and the additional 1% tax scrapped to compensate states for the revenue loss.
Addressing the media post his meeting, Jaitely said he was open to discussion over the additional 1% tax although there was a complete consensus that there shouldn't be any constitutional cap.
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra who chaired the meeting said that the entire interaction was a success and Mamata Banerjee led TMC has given full support to the GST in principal.
"I will be calling a second meeting in July to further build consensus," Mitra added.