Hopeful about GST regime roll out from April: Anant Kumar

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Bengaluru, Dec 27: Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs H N Ananth Kumar today expressed hope about the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime from coming April, saying the government is pushing ahead with the agenda. "Our discussions with opposition parties and GST council is an ongoing process.

Ananth Kumar

I'm confident that once we have passed the constitutional amendment bill without any opposition in both houses of Parliament, ultimately GST council will also come out with unanimous decisions so that it can be given a legal framework in the Parliament of India," he said. Asked how hopeful he was about GST roll out as one approaches April, Kumar said, "We are pushing ahead with the  agenda, I'm hopeful."

The Union Minister was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 21st convocation of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) here. The government intends to roll out the GST regime from  April 2017, but there are apprehensions that the date will be  missed because the all powerful GST Council is yet to iron out several vexed issues, including jurisdiction of the Centre and state governments over tax payers. The Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers, has so far met seven times after Parliament amended the Constitution for implementation of GST.

The next meeting is scheduled for January 3 and 4 to  decide on the contentious issue of dual control over assesses  and the legislation on IGST. "I am trying my best," Jaitley had earlier said on the expected April 1 roll out schedule. "I am not going to bind myself with anything. Our effort is to do it as quickly as possible and I think we are making a reasonable headway," he had said.

On the demonetisation move, Kumar said the Prime Minister's direct target was those who are in favour of black money, corruption, fake currency and terrorism that originates with its help. Stating that people of the country are with Modi in his fight against corruption and black money, he said, "Its echo effect was visible in the by-elections at different places." He expressed confidence that people would adapt to the digital economy and cashless transactions in the same way they had to electronic voting machines and mobile communication.

Kumar noted that for 50 days people had peacefully cooperated despite difficulties, keeping their faith in the Prime Minister and said, "I salute their courage and will in taking this economic reform to its logical conclusion."

PTI

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