While BJP-ruled states gave a go ahead to July 1 roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra continued to raise serious doubts over the feasibility of the new indirect tax regime and proposed its postponement by a month or so. “I have also added a caveat (in the GST Council meeting) that July 1 looks extremely difficult. But you cannot do frugal innovation for world’s largest fiscal reform called GST. And you are going to start GST from July 1. So my submission was, let us not do frugal innovation for something which is world’s largest fiscal reform,” Mitra told reporters after the 16th Council meeting here on Sunday. He said that there is no harm in postponement of the GST “by one month or so”.
“That’s a point I made on the record. Whenever we are fully prepared to our satisfaction when everyone feels comfortable we can go ahead,” he added. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated that the traders and industry had no option but to get ready by July 1 as no postponement was on the anvil. “Irrespective of the date at which is to start, some people will say we are not ready. They have no option but to get ready. You require honest intent for that,” he told reporters when asked about some industry representatives seeking more time for the roll-out. Supporting a July 1 roll-out, Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar cautioned against any further delay of GST and said that this may raise doubts in the industry.
“Whatever is remaining will be completed. But if we postpone beyond July 1, it will create doubts. As it is we can’t implement GST after September. We should bring GST into implementation from July 1 and if there crops any issue GST Council can resolve it promptly,” he said. Claiming readiness by July 1, Jharkhand too has said that all its GST officers and chambers of commerce have been imparted training and the state is fully ready to roll-out the novel tax reform from the designated date.