Senior BJP leader and former finance minister (in Chandra Shekhar’s Cabinet) Yashwant Sinha is not too hopeful that GST will be implemented anytime soon. Finance Minister P Chidambaram had announced in his Budget speech of 2007-08 that GST will be implemented from April 1, 2010. But the implementation date was postponed twice since then — first to April 2012 , and then to April 1, 2014. Disappointed with continuous postponement, the BJP leader told CNBC-TV18 that he does not see GST being implemented in next nine months. “The timeline remains unclear and the FM had failed to provide clarity in his Budget speech,” he said.
Sinha also found the target of 6 percent GDP growth rate in Fiscal 2013 a tad “ambitious”. Economic growth in the October-December period of the current financial year had slipped to 4.5 percent against 6 percent recorded in the same period previous fiscal. Sinha said it would be disappointing to settle for neo-normal GDP growth rate of 5-6 percent because this country has shown that a higher growth rate is achievable.
He stressed that passage of Pension and Insurance Bills, which the finance minister expects to get cleared this time around, will depend on Congress Party’s approach towards Opposition. “The cooperation between the government and the Opposition has to be in a spirit of continued cooperation. It cannot be on and off. I want your support so I am pleading for cooperation; and then I do not want your support so I do not care for your cooperation. I think that attitude of the government apart from reflecting a degree of arrogance is also something which is not good politics,” Yashwant Sinha said.