Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the deadline of April 1 was a stiff target for the government to implement the Goods and Services Tax Bill. While speaking at the Economist India Summit in New Delhi, Jaitley said the Centre is “running against time”, but will try its best.
The stiff target, Jaitley said, was set as the GST is a "national aspiration". He added that this was proved by the fact that 16 states ratified the GST Bill within a period of 20-25 days.
The GST has been a key issue for the Bharatiya Janata Party as it is expected to bring about widespread economic changes by replacing India's multiple commercial taxes with a single levy.
Other than the GST, the finance minister said the Union government's key concerns right now are introducing central laws, reviving the banking sector and picking up stalled infrastructure projects. He, however, said it was too early to sell out public-sector banking stakes, which comprise 70% of the nation's financial system assets, Reuters reported.
When asked to comment on the nation's economy, the minister admitted that India was performing "far below its best," Reuters reported. He added that economic reforms combined with social programmes would ensure benefits for Indians.