Kolkata: India will not meet its 1 April target for implementing a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) as it works towards an agreement with state governments, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday.
The targeted 1 April deadline for launching GST, which is intended to simplify the country’s revenue system, broaden the tax base and minimize exemptions, had been increasingly in doubt given the opposition at the state level.
Seeking a pact: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee says the government is trying to create a consensus on GST among states. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
“We will not be able to meet the GST deadline. We are trying hard for a consensus among states. It will be possible only at an appropriate time,” Mukherjee said. Earlier this year, the head of a government panel said implementing GST could boost revenue by $15 billion (Rs70,200 crore) a year by increasing exports, lifting employment and driving growth.
Mukherjee also said the government is not considering a withdrawal of stimulus until the economy recovers completely.
“Stimulus package was injected to boost the economy. Unless the full recovery is possible and when the planners are able to make an assessment that it is time to withdraw, then only the stimulus package will be withdrawn,” he said.