Jaitley hands-on in meeting ahead of Union Budget

New Delhi [India], Jan 5 : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held the 16th Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) meeting here on Thursday.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel, SEBI Chairman U K Sinha were amongst a few present. While some states have complained of declining tax revenues due to demonetisation, the Centre is hopeful of exceeding its Budget Estimates (BE) for 2016-17 in both direct and indirect tax collections.

"Interim budget is presented just before Lok Sabha elections and no one has stopped that. Even in 2014, interim budget was presented some days before the General Elections," said Jaitley arguing that Budget is a Constitutional necessity.

However, earlier on Wednesday, the GST Council discussed issues related to Integrated Goods and Services Tax in a meeting held in New Delhi where all the coastal states, irrespective of parties' affiliation demanded state jurisdiction up to 12 nautical miles in high seas to levy GST on trade of goods.

The council had also cleared the basic draft of compensation law under which the states will be fully compensated for any loss of revenue for five years due to the implementation of new direct tax regime.

The compensation to the states will be paid every two months. The Centre is keen to finalize the draft GST legislations to ensure they are tabled in Parliament and state assemblies in the ensuing Budget Session.

"Six different sectors of the economy, banking, insurance, aviation, railways, export which amongst others made detailed presentations with regard to the requirements of their sectors before the GST council," he said.

"Some of them also made the point, particularly the telecom IT industries that they wanted a centralized registration," he added.

Source: ANI