Brushing aside reservations from sections of industry as well as States such as West Bengal about the level of preparedness for the switch to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a meeting yesterday that the roll-out has been smooth and people are getting accustomed to the new tax regime. It was only after speaking for 30 minutes he realized that it was a Defence ministry meeting, and he din’t have to speak on GST.
Jaitley spoke at length about the benefits of GST, its evolution planned for the later years and how it will make India an easy place for business operations. Jaitley has been going gaga over government’s attempts to make the transit smooth and is attending more and more functions to clarify the government’s stand on questions related to GST. Yesterday was one such occasion.
Arun Jaitley, who is also the head of the Defence ministry has been too busy in the GST roll-out and his defence ministry meetings have taken a backseat. That was the reason as to why he spoke about GST in the defence ministry meeting. Most of the bureaucrats present in the meeting were thankful to the Finance ministry as they gained lot of knowledge abot the new tax regime. Defernce ministry officials are way too busy nowadays with the Chinese invasion on Sikkim front and had no time in learning about GST. Yesterday’s meeting actually helped them do so.
The moment Arun Jaitley ji realized that he was speaking about the wrong topic he apologized but continued speaking about GST as he had come fully prepared on the topic of GST. The defence ministry meeting had to be postponed and a later date will be announced once it is decided.