Implementation of GST is smoother than expected: Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley said demonetisation was a conscious effort to change the saving and spending patterns of the Indian society, which was largely cash dependent.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is going “smoother than expected”. Addressing the 70th annual general meeting of the Indian Banks’ Association in Mumbai, Jaitley added that the decision-making mechanism between the Centre and the states has been “reasonably institutionalised”, and that the mechanism created to address day-to-day queries is “robust”, reported news agency PTI.

“… these are early days of the implementation of the alternative taxation system. It appears to be so far going on smoother than expected,” Jaitley was quoted as saying by PTI. The new uniform tax regime was implemented at July 1, 2017.

Jaitley said demonetisation was a conscious effort to change the saving and spending patterns of the Indian society, which was largely cash dependent. In the quarter ending June, India’s GDP grew at 5.7 per cent, the lowest in three years since the Narendra Modi government was elected to power — Jaitley has previously attributed the numbers to pre-GST de-stocking of goods.

Speaking on the banking sector, which he described as the “lifeline” for the economy, Jaitley stressed assets are a core area of concern. “It has been the major challenge with regard to the increasing number of stressed assets. I think it is this which is really the core area of concern today,” he said. “Whatever steps that are required to be taken to find a resolution to this problem (NPA) we will expeditiously work with India’s banking system in order to strengthen it.”