Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that there were some critical issues in the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council. He, however, hoped that these would be sorted out in a few weeks.
Jaitley was delivering keynote address at a seminar on “GST: The Game Changer for Indian Economy” organised at the four-day Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2017.
The minister said that the GST Council was deliberative democracy in action and that the aim was to implement the system soon. Later, speaking to a section of media, he said that it was a constitutional requirement to implement GST by September 16, 2017.
At the keynote address, he said though India was fastest growing economy, we were substantially non-compliant in taxation.
According to him, demonetisation cannot be de-linked through GST. Excessive paper currency had its own vices and it led to temptation, he said.
Jaitley said that the GST and demonetisation would make India's economy look much bigger and cleaner.
Earlier, revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia, hand-picked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the latter went to New Delhi, said that GST was simple and less burdensome tax for most of the traders. Once the GST was implemented, no dealer would be able to evade tax, he added.
He said that GST could be paid by credit and debit cards. According to him, the target date to implement GST is April 1, 2017.
Adhia said that some diamond traders from Surat had expressed concern and they were assured that GST would not be levied on finished diamonds that were exported.