The union government is abiding by the target date for implementing the goods and services tax (GST) to ensure that it is applicable from April 1, 2017 across India, Minister of State for Finance, Mr Arjun Ram Meghwal said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.
"I can assure you that 1st April, 2017 is the target date for implementing GST in India and we are abiding that particular target and I can assure that 1st April 2017, GST will be applicable in the country," said Mr Meghwal while inaugurating an 'ASSOCHAM Global Investors' India Forum.'
He said that all the issues relating to the states - whether pertaining to the standard rate, area-based exemption, product-based exemption, slab in the GST rate all will be decided in the GST Council after detailed discussion with the states.
"We will deliberate the issues and definitely decide in the interest of the nation," said Mr Meghwal.
The Union Minister added that the GST is a major initiative that can take India's GDP growth to double digit level i.e. up to 10 per cent from current level of over seven per cent.
Highlighting that the Government is slowly moving towards the goal of - one nation, one tax, he said, "We will consider all aspects and to promote ease of doing business and ensure success of Make in India program, we can also consider slab related issues."
He also said that government was working on the process to curtail black money generation. "We are in the planning stage to curtail the black money in the generation process as we do not want black money to be generated."
Conceding that India is grappling with challenge of low private investment, Mr Meghwal said, "I think, this is the biggest challenge before the government."
On the success of Skill India initiative, he said that the initiative will not succeed if it is not able to go as per the industry's requirement.
"We will take the input from you, though we are running Skill India program along with states, but we will definitely take the initiative and input from the industry."
The Minister also emphasised that unless agriculture, housing and rural sectors are improved, India's GDP will not grow as per government's desire.
"From 1952 we have been fixing the target that we will grow agriculture sector at four per cent, now this present government has taken so many initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, simplification of KCC (Kisan Credit Card), Soil Health Card, increasing irrigation facilities, so I hope that the target of growth for agriculture growth will be achieved," said Mr Meghwal.