Even as he indicated that the Goods and Services Tax Bill might not get passed in the current session of Parliament, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said his government will introduce the insolvency and bankruptcy Bill this session.
Exuding confidence to convince the Opposition for passing the Bill in the current form, he said, “I think a
delayed GST is better than a flawed GST,” while addressing the annual general meeting of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the Capital.
The minister said the government will also push for the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, and changes in the Resolution of Commercial Disputes Act with Amendments in Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill in the remaining three days of the winter session, which ends Wednesday.
As far as the delay in GST Bill is concerned, Jaitley said the delay is due to “collateral reasons” by Opposition parties.
“If I couldn’t do it, why should somebody else do it?” he said.
On the revision of India’s GDP for the current fiscal to 7-7.5% on Friday, from 8-8.5%, as forecast by finance ministry economists in February, Jaitley said India is growing at a much faster rate, while the global economy is growing at a “modest pace”. He attributed the downward revision to a less-than-expected monsoon that has impacted rural consumption, and fall in demand for India’s products, which has hurt its exports and eventually trade deficit, as well as fall in global oil and commodity prices.
In the year to come, Jaitley said if the government is able to continue with thrust on public investment, incentivising foreign direct investments, and increasing spends on physical and social infrastructure, the country’s GDP could see “a jump of 1-1.5% or more, which is not only possible, but achievable”.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Anand Sharma said at the same event: “It (GST) is not going to happen in this session. We will engage with them, but this is not the right time. April 1, 2016, is not sacrosanct and not achievable at all.”