India's tryst with GST to start at midnight on June 30: Arun Jaitley

The Asian Age.

Business, Economy

He said the inaugration ceremony will take place in the Central Hall of Parliament.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Mumbai: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will definitely rollout at the stroke of midnight of June 30.

Addressing the media in New Delhi, he said the inaugration ceremony will take place in the Central Hall of Parliament. It will be attended by the President, the Vice president and the Prime Minister. The President and the Prime Minister will speak on the subject of GST.

He added that two short films made on GST will also be screened on that day.

Addressing the question of GST's impact on GDP, he said "I anticipate in the long term, being a more efficient system, the revenue inflow and spending capacity of the centre and the states will increase and have a consequent impact on GDP".

Jaitley further said that all reforms are initially seen as "disruptive". However, in the long run they become "result-yielding". "There will be short-term challenges in the switch over. That is why I have extended the date for filing of GST returns. Industry and trade will have to prepare themselves. It is not very complicated," he said.

He further said the process of registration on the GSTN is going on smoothly. Responding to the question of traders facing problems in registering themselves, he said "The 65,000 who registered did not have issues, the 5,000 who did are on Twitter".

Talking about GST-prepareness of the country, he said it will be measured not on July 1, but in August when the returns will be filed. He reiterated that the government has given a two-month relaxation to the industry for filing of returns because of this reason. "We had been saying GST will be rolled out by July 1; nobody had any business not to be ready. If a trader is still not ready by that time, then he does not want to be ready," he added. 

Earlier, the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (Assocham) and Civil Aviation Ministry had requested the Finance Ministry to defer the GST rollout. Both bodies reckoned that the machinery was not prepared to roll out GST from July 1.

The anti-profiteering provision of GST has been a point of contention between the government and traders. "Anti-profiteering clause in GST is a deterrent which is not intended to be used unless forced to," he said reassuringly.