Home / Current Affairs / Hiccups, But Not Like Notes Ban: Former Team Jaitley Member On GST Launch

Hiccups, But Not Like Notes Ban: Former Team Jaitley Member On GST Launch

New Delhi:  Amid concerns over India’s readiness for the Goods and Services Tax, which will be launched in a few hours, former bureaucrat Shaktikanta Das said the government has prepared adequately for the roll-out. The Economic Affairs Secretary, who retired last month, was part of Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s A Team not for only the budget, but he was also closely associated with the framing of the GST.

Admitting that there will be some initial problems for the next two to three months, the former revenue secretary said, “When you look at the short-to-medium time span, things will iron out and all will be fine in a year’s time”.

“Over the last six to eight months, there have been a number of awareness and outreach programs for trades. The preparation has been quite adequate,” Mr Das said. Asked to compare it with teb government’s November announcement of demonetisation, he pointed out that the notes ban had affected the entire nation, whereas the GST roll-out will concern only the business community.

Since the reform is so massive, there will be some traders who have legitimate concerns, he admitted. “But they don’t need to worry. Their concerns will be addressed,” he said.

The government’s flagship Goods and Services Tax, which is billed as “economic independence” for the nation, will be launched from the Central Hall of Parliament at midnight. It will be announced by a gong. Nearly 1,000 people – including industrialists and technocrats — are expected to attend the ceremony.

The Congress and most of the opposition, however, are staying away from the midnight programme, citing concerns about the way the government was implementing GST. “The entire business community, especially the small and medium ones, are scared and confused. Only 60 hours are left before this ill planned launch and no one knows for sure what’s happening,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.