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Adi Godrej expresses concern over delay in clearance to Goods and Services Tax bill

Godrej Group chairman says if the Monsoon Session were to be adjourned sine die, it will raise a lot of question marks on the future.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: August 8, 2015  | 18:49 IST
Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej
Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej (Photo: Reuters)

Industrialist Adi Godrej has raised concerns over disruptions in Parliament stalling key reform bills, saying that if the Monsoon Session were to be adjourned sine die, then it will raise a lot of question marks on the future.

"I think the most important thing, if you look at all the bills pending, GST is by far the most important," Godrej told PTI on Friday, when asked about the dilution of the Land bill.

The government has said in the past that it wants to implement in the Goods and Services Tax from April 1, 2016. Continued protests by Congress members forced a washout of Rajya Sabha proceedings for the third week, stalling passage of the key indirect tax reform.

"Through the GST, we will have double digit growth in India and everything else will come in line," the Godrej Group chairman said, conceding that the revised draft of the GST, which is billed as a big reform on the indirect taxation front, has a lot of "infirmities".

"It (current draft) is not a perfect thing. If the perfect draft were to give an 100 points effect (benefit) on the economy, this one will have 80 at least. And in a couple of years, we will have 100. It is very important to pass the GST with a few infirmities rather than not doing it at all," Godrej said.

On the land bill, where the industry has a reason to be disappointed because of the dilution, the industrialist said it is an issue which has been stuck due to political issues.

"It is a political issue and difficult to tell. I think they will leave a lot of the implementation to the states. The states will be able to provide the land for the industry," he said.

A recent media report, citing official response to an RTI query, had said only 8 per cent of 804 stalled industrial projects are stuck due to problems in land acquisition.

Godrej said things are looking better for the fast moving consumer goods sector, which contributes the most to his group's revenues and added that the company has reported a 13 per cent volume growth in the first quarter.

Even though fears are being expressed of a slowdown in the rural sector due to poor monsoon estimate, Godrej said his company as well its peers are experiencing a faster growth in rural markets than the urban one.

The recent fall in commodity prices does give a leg up to his company on the margins front, but a significant part of the advantage will be invested in advertising and marketing spends, he said. The company will continue to invest in factories and will also look at acquisition opportunities, both domestically and abroad, Godrej added.

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