Business Today

FM Arun Jaitley still wants to implement GST by April 2016

GST, which economists estimate could add 2 percentage points to gross domestic product, has failed to clear Parliament due to a blockade of the Upper House by the opposition parties.

Frank Jack Daniel   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 9, 2015  | 12:14 IST
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, June 18, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday he still wants to implement a new goods and services tax (GST) by next April 1, although the opposition Congress party could delay its passage through the legislature.

Addressing a business conference, Jaitley said it was important to stay on the path of reform and build momentum to achieve higher economic growth. The current global economic situation presented an opportunity for India, he said.

The GST, which economists estimate could add 2 percentage points to India's gross domestic product (GDP), has failed to clear Parliament due to a blockade of the upper house by the Congress party.

Jaitley said the composition of the Upper House - which represents India's states - would change next April, suggesting that the balance of power would tilt in favour of the government.

Asked whether bad loans and banking were the main worry for the economy, he said: "The banking system is a matter of concern - it is not the main worry, there are no grounds for panic."

Jaitley, who was speaking at an Economist conference, highlighted steel, power, electricity distribution companies, and to a lesser extent textiles and highways as the main sectors under stress.

(Reuters)

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