Last lap pace
The GST rollout is being keenly watched by domestic as well as foreign players doing business in India. And everyone seems to have a view on it. Talking about the preparedness to GST, a foreign-origin CEO of a European consumer goods company offered his two cents: “India might be walking at snail pace most of the times, but when it reaches the last 10 meters of the marathon, it runs like it’s running a 100-meters’ race.”
“Also, if it ends bad in any situation in India, it’s not the end,” he quipped, as he hinted at the multiple changes in regulations the country saw during demonetisation. In GST too, it took the Government five days to come out with regulations on old stocks and new maximum retail price.
Since the GST was launched on July 1, confusion, contradictions and clarifications have taken much of the time of the entire government machinery. But it was expected, wasn’t it? The latest was on the declaration of MRP. A joint clarification from the Department of Revenue and the Department of Consumer Affairs came on the July 4, explaining that the declaration of new MRP on unsold stock manufactured/packed/ imported prior to July 1 should not be done mechanically, but after factoring in and taking into consideration extra availability of input tax credit under GST (including deemed credit available to traders).
Tractor for Jaitley
India’s tractor makers are a happy lot now, all thanks to the GST. Tractors have become cheaper after the implementation of GST. Tractor manufacturers hope it will boost sales. No wonder then that at a recent event by the Delhi wing of BJP, they gifted a small model of a tractor to Jaitley to express their happiness!
Airports are unlikely avenues for forming alliances. Well, science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan doesn’t think so. Speaking at an event in New Delhi last week, in which the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangatan joined hands to explore means to inculcate scientific curiosity among school children, Vardhan said that the date for the event was firmed up at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on July 2 when he bumped into his cabinet colleague Prakash Javadekar, who was there to board a flight to China.
Vardhan, coming back from an official visit to Kerala, requested Javadekar for his time to grace the function which got postponed several times since March. Javadekar agreed and four days later, on his return from China, came straight from the airport to the Hotel Ashok function.
This is the new one. During the past one year, as build-up to GST began, one started hearing terms such as revolutionary, ‘one nation one tax’, Good and Simple Tax, cooperative federalism. But this one is about legacy. The roll-out of from July 1 has seen all the ministers of the Narendra Modi government go to various parts of the country to explain what GST is all about. The Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, was also doing a similar job at Hyderabad recently.
Addressing common people and traders at an awareness programme on GST in Hyderabad, Naqvi said: implementation of GST is the biggest economic reform after Independence. GST will change both the condition and direction of the Indian economy. GST is also one of the best examples of India’s federal structure. “GST is the sanjhi virasat (combined legacy) of the people of India, and not the creation of the Central Government alone...” he advocated.