‘Ensure smooth passage of GST Bill’

Close on the heels of industrialist Adi Godrej raising concerns over disruptions in Parliament stalling legislation for the introduction of the Goods & Services Tax (GST), the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Sunday appealed to political parties not to put roadblocks before the economic reform.

The confederation called for a consensus to be evolved among the political parties to ensure a safe and smooth passage of the biggest taxation reform in Independent India.

“The GST, said to be one of the biggest tax reform to…. improve economy and GDP… , has fallen prey to tactical designs of political parties which has compelled the CAIT to make a public appeal to political fraternity not to put roadblocks to this economic reform,” the confederation said in a statement.

On Friday, Mr. Godrej said that though the current draft of the GST Bill was not perfect, it was very important to pass it “with a few infirmities rather than not doing it at all”. “If the perfect draft were to give an 100 points effect (benefit) on the economy, this one will have 80 at least …. And in a couple of years, we will have 100,” Mr. Godrej told PTI.

About six crore business enterprises are “deeply perturbed” over the continuing stalemate in the Rajya Sabha which has blocked smooth passage of Constitution Amendment Bill meant for the introduction of the GST, a much-awaited tax reform initiated by the previous government and taken forward by the present government, CAIT national president B.C. Bhartia and secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement on Sunday.

“The GST has much value to the trading community since it is deeply webbed into a plethora of tax laws and regulations of multiple tax authorities … the trading community hopes to get a simplified cohesive business environment which may lead to ease in doing business in the country and hopes to abolish colonial working of tax administration system,” the statement said.

“Question mark over the future”

Earlier, on Friday, the Godrej group chairman had expressed a fear that if the session were to be adjourned sine die, then it would raise a question mark over the future. “I think the most important thing, if you look at all the Bills pending, GST is by far the most important … Through the GST, we will have double-digit growth in India and everything else will come in line,” Mr. Godrej told PTI.

Later, Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted that she agreed with Mr. Godrej’s views on the urgency with which the long-pending reform must be allowed to clear Parliament.

Source: The Hindu

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