GST rollout deadline of April challenging: Rajan

Tuesday, Aug 9, 2016,13:45 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Reserve Bank Tuesday said it will be challenging to roll out GST from April 1, 2017 but the new indirect tax regime will eventually boost business sentiment and investments.

Dispelling fears of price rise due to the rollout of Goods and Services Tax, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said its impact could be assessed only after the GST rate is decided and inflation could be short-lived as seen in many other countries.

While timely implementation of GST will be challenging, there is no doubt that it should raise returns to investment across much of the economy, even while strengthening government finances over the medium term, Rajan said in the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement.

This should boost business sentiment and eventually investment, said Rajan after announcing his last monetary policy before he exits on September 4.

He said the passage of the GST Bill augurs well for the growing political consensus for economic reforms.

Parliament yesterday approved the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill and the government will work hard to meet the April 1, 2017 deadline for rolling out the new indirect tax regime.

Talking to reporters at the customary post monetary policy press conference, Rajan said RBI is currently focused on meeting the inflation glide path target of 5 per cent by March 2017.

It is premature to talk about inflationary impact of GST when we don’t know what the rates would be.

The experience of other countries, like Malaysia, has been that the inflationary impact was short lived.

We have to see that price adjustment, if there is one, doesn’t become generalised inflation, he said.