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Bihar drubbing will not impact reforms: Jaitley

Launch of eSahyog and Pan camps

 New Delhi : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said BJP’s electoral drubbing in Bihar will not impact economy or the reforms programme and the government will go ahead with the process of enacting Goods and Services Tax (GST) law.

“I don’t see it as a setback to the economy…structural reforms will continue. They should continue at a rapid pace,” he said and expressed the hope that JD(U) would support the Constitutional amendment bill to roll out the long-pending GST as the new tax structure would benefit Bihar.

About reforms, Jaitley told television channels that government would continue them by taking executive actions and also in the Budget, which would be announced in February next year.

To a question of the pending GST bill, he hoped that Bihar would support the legislation because as a consuming state it would benefit from the new indirect tax legislation.

“Bihar and JD(U) had supported this in the Lower House…If Nitish Kumar, as a responsible leader, has been elected on the plank of development, then certainly he wants more revenue for Bihar,….,” Jaitley said.

The government had planned to roll out GST,from April 1, 2016 but the Constitution Amendment Bill is stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority.

Once rolled out, it will subsume various levies like excise, service tax, sales tax, octroi, etc, and ensure a single indirect tax regime for the entire country

Stating that GST roll out is a “matter of time, Jaitley said the “obstructionist” position of the Congress would not continue for long as the country’s mood is reform oriented.

On whether he would talk to Nitish Kumar for supporting GST, he said, “I don’t see any reason, why just because he is in alliance with the Congress at the moment, he will…change his position. If he changes his position, then I will have to explain this and I am quite certain, as a responsible leader, that will not happen”.

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