Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads the Group of Ministers (GoM) to look into the technical issues of GSTN, today said petroleum products should be brought under the Goods and Services Tax. Modi, also a member of the GST council, said that many states are of the view that petrol and diesel should come under the new indirect tax regime, while some have apprehensions. “I think in the coming days… issues will also be resolved and I think very soon petroleum products would also become part of the GST,” he told reporters here. In response to a question, Modi, also Bihar Finance Minister, said he believes that petroleum products should be part of the GST. “It is my personal opinion,” he said, adding that petroleum products were part of the GST worldwide. Modi, who chaired the ministerial panel meeting last month to set a road map for resolving the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), said he can say “with confidence that in the coming days, the economy will grow and whatever initial problems surfaced would be tackled.
He admitted that in the initial days of implementation of the GST, there may be some problems but the economy would be on far stronger track in the coming days. “If the growth rate has come down in one or two quarters, it does not mean it is an economic slowdown. It is a cycle. During the UPA regime, you have also seen there were a plenty of quarters in which growth rate came down.”
“… the GST is a big reform and I can say that after demonetisation (and) GST, the economy is on a far stronger track than what it was earlier,” he said in a response to a question regarding slowdown of the economy. He claimed the GST would have been implemented during the UPA rule, if the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had taken the initiative. “Chidambaram made no efforts to resolve the issues of the states. He made no serious efforts to implement the GST. Compensation to the states was not given,” he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley started giving pending compensation to the states, he said. “The trust deficit was during the Congress regime,” Modi said. The Bihar leader also clarified that neither Gujarat nor Madhya Pradesh had ever opposed the GST implementation. “Never Narendra Modi (as Chief Minister) or Gujarat opposed the GST. Never, never, never. It was in the manifesto of the BJP and I was the chairman of the empowered committee constituted by the then Prime Minister,” the Bihar minister said.
“Pranab Mukherjee, the then Finance Minister, appointed me as chairman of the empowered committee with the consent of BJP leaders. Never Madhya Pradesh or Gujarat ever opposed GST,” he said.