New Delhi: Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia said he is hopeful that the much delayed Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be implemented across the country no later than next year while speaking to Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate.
Below is an excerpt of the interview:
Karan Thapar: No doubt the Finance Minister has indicated that the bill will be introduced in in Parliament before the end of the Budget Session, but he set out no road map for GST, he didn't say a word about Pension and Insurance which have been stuck in Parliament for years, not a word about Land Acquisition for which industry is anxiously waiting. So are those reforms now pushed on to the backburner?
Montek Singh Ahluwalia: On the GST, I thought he made a very strong statement. He more or less invited the Opposition parties, who are after all in State governments, to come forth and cooperate with the government to make GST a reality. I believe that the way those discussions have gone there is an understanding on the part of the Opposition, the GST is in India's interest. This is also politics, this is a constitutional amendment. Nobody can force the pace. I read his statement and the fact that nobody has refuted that issue, the GST is going to happen. It may not become operative in the year 2013, that's a profound disappointment for me, but you know if you are looking at India ahead, if an analyst were to come to the conclusion it looks like GST is going to be in, but a year later. I think they would give a lot of positive marks.