Manish Sisodia, Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, has praised Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for being “open to ideas” and “questions” at the GST (Goods and Services Tax) meet. According to a report by The Indian Express, Sisodia on Friday said he was “one of the satisfied members” of the GST council chaired by Jaitley as the latter was “open to ideas” and “questions”. Sisodia, who also holds the portfolio of Delhi finance minster, further said that it was not hard to be heard at the GST Council meetings as an opposition party leader, according to IE.
“The GST council meetings till now have been good… Arun Jaitley is the chairman and he is very open to ideas, let me admit. Till now, the way meetings have been held, I am one of the satisfied members. Whenever I raise a question or raise an issue, he considers (it),” Sisodia said at the Idea Exchange at The Indian Express office. “Making yourself heard as an opposition party hasn’t been difficult. You raise your voice and you are heard,” he added.
On Friday, Sisodia also held a Facebook Live session on GST where he answered traders’ queries. During the session, taxation on goods that will remain unsold till June 30 emerged as the chief concern of the Delhi’s traders.
When traders asked whether there will be provision for any input credit on the unsold stocks, as on June 30, against the tax paid by them under the existing tax regime, Sisodia replied in the affirmative, reports PTI. “Traders will get input credit. It will depend on the documents available with them and if papers are in place then they will receive 100 percent tax credit. If not, goods falling above the 18 percent tax slab will get 60 percent credit while those falling above 40 percent will be granted 40 per cent,” VAT commissioner Rajesh Prasad, who assisted Sisodia during the session said.
The Delhi finance minister also noted that lowering the tax slabs, as currently proposed by the GST council, will lead to greater tax compliance.
Sisodia’s take on Jaitley’s handling of the GST council meeting comes as a rare praise of the Centre from any senior AAP leader. At present, the Delhi High Court is hearing a defamation case filed by Jaitley against Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. Sisodia also praised other finance ministers from the BJP-ruled states. “There are great finance ministers in BJP-ruled states as well. They are very intelligent and have come up with some very good ideas as well. I am not trying to play a blame game,” he said at Idea Exchange.
The Delhi finance minister extended his support for the introduction of GST regime in the country. But Sisodia added that he had “objections” with how it was “being taken forward” without sufficiently considering “Indian market realities”, reports IE.
GST is expected to be rolled out from July 1.