Pitching for an early take-off of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Wednesday said it will help India create more jobs, increase revenue as well as promote domestic manufacturing.
She assured support and technical assistance for implementation of the comprehensive indirect tax reform, which will subsume excise and sales taxes. "The implementation of GST will help India create jobs and help in raising revenue to finance health, education etc," she said in a recorded video message at an interactive session of the industry with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on GST here.
Terming GST as a trade agreement, she said, a harmonised and unified GST will broaden tax base. Simple to administer will make GST an efficient taxation too, she added.
"IMF is ready to lend support and provide technical assistance for GST implementation," she said.
Speaking during the session, CII president Sumit Mazumder said in light of recent developments, the ongoing delay in implementation of GST is a matter of great concern. If the Constitutional Amendment Bill was not passed in the current winter session, it will be a big disappointment for the industry and a roadblock in the development of the country, he said. "CII has always maintained that GST would lead to 1.5-2 per cent increase in GDP growth. What better economic stimulus can there be?" he asked.
Ficci president Jyotsna Suri is oppopsed to the "politicisation" of GST, which is "in the interest of nation and imperative for the industry".
Terming the implementation of GST as a poverty alleviation measure, Onkar Kanwar, Chairman of Apollo Tyres, said: "The government is trying very hard to push the Constitutional Amendment Bill. I hope some good sense will prevail in Parliament."
Ford India president Nigel Harris said: "GST needs to happen now. It will give India a lot of credibility and ease of doing business. I don't think everyone is giving up (on GST). We are just re-emphasising this is the right thing to do."
Confederation of All India Traders president Praveen Khandelwal was on the same page too. "It will unify all indirect taxes and tax administration will become simple," Khandelwal added.