Terming the GST Council as India’s first federal institution, Minister of Finance and Labor and Employment, Dr Haseeb Drabu today said the new tax regime will pave way for cooperative federalism in the country.
“The GST will bring major changes in fiscal and political side of India’s federal structure because of which coercive federalism will pave way for cooperative and competitive federalism,” Dr Drabu said while speaking at a Roundtable of the Finance Ministers organised by the financial newspaper The Mint at Royal Springs Golf Course here today.
The Finance Minister said the new tax regime has sown the seeds of lateral federalism by recognizing the new political, economic and social realities in the country. He said the GST should be looked at more in terms of changing federal polity across the country.
“The economic reforms ushered in 1991 didn’t seek to consult the states. Now in 2017, with the GST being rolled out on July 1, every single state has been taken on board. This is one step which compliments other moves and changes the structure of Indian federalism,” he said.
The Finance Minister said the GST will institutionalise tax collection and increase compliance tremendously, thereby making India a better and vibrant country, “While there may be issues of sovereignty and autonomy, the GST Council is India’s first federal institution and we would like to see more moving ahead,” he said.
The Roundtable was also attended by the Finance Ministers of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Kerala, Thomas Isaac and Karnataka. Welcoming them to Kashmir, Dr Drabu said it is important to send out a signal to the rest of the country about the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir.
“There is a multi-layered reality to life in Jammu and Kashmir. While we have been dealing with the prevailing situation on one hand, it doesn’t stop life here. We are witnessing economic history in making in this beautiful city of Srinagar in an incredible manner through pooling of sovereignties. Nothing can make us prouder,” Dr Drabu said.
Assam’s Finance Minister, Mr Sarma said people of Kashmir are known for their hospitality and they have outdone themselves this time, “The state government has done a wonderful job. The impression from outside the Valley about the situation is wrong. Although there are incidences of violences happening but a fair amount of normalcy prevails,” he said.