Arjun Ram Meghwal, MoS Finance amd corporate affairs on Thursday told CNBC TV18 that the government is looking at rolling Goods and Services Tax (GST) on July 1, 2017, if it doesn’t happen on April 1. The GST Council will be meeting on January 3-4 with an agenda to vet the model GST and the compensation Bills for their legal correctness, and resolving the contentious issues of Integrated GST (IGST) administration and division of assessment powers between the Centre and states. In the last GST Council meeting, FM Arun Jaitley was asked whether he was still sticking to the self-imposed April 1, 2017 deadline for GST rollout, he said, “Our effort will be to do it as quickly as possible,” but added that he wouldn’t want to “hasten the process”, as discussions were underway.
Meanwhile, Speaking on demonetisation, Meghwal also told the business news channel that this decision is a radical reform and will help change the way of life. “The GDP will increase by 2% and consumption and investment will increase rapidly once the entire demonetisation proces is complete. It will also help increase the tax base.” He further added that the government doesn’t take any decision keeping political benefits in mind.
The Modi government is pitching hard for a cashless economy. Recently, the government decided that no service charge will now be levied for use of debit cards. Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das has said that till December 31, 2016, no service charges will be levied on debit cards and that the move is meant to ensure greater penetration of digital transaction. Meanwhile, to encourage digital transactions, the RBI has increased the doubled the limit on the balance that one can keep in e-wallets. The limit has been enhanced from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000.
The Narendra Modi government has come under severe criticism from the Opposition for its move to demonetise old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. The reaction on the ground has, however, been mixed. While most people have lauded the move to check black money and corruption, many have said that the implementation, especially when it comes to availability of currency, should have been much better.