New Delhi: Apparently lamenting the delay in introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said implementation of the big-ticket tax revamp would send a powerful signal about economic reforms being on course.
"If GST is done, there will be a powerful signal on the economic front.... The Finance Ministry is working with chief ministers and there is an empowered group," Singh told reporters at an Iftar hosted by him when asked about the hindrances in bringing about key economic reforms.
Implementation of GST, which will subsume most of the indirect taxes, has missed several deadlines. A Constitution amendment bill on this is currently under examination of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.
Singh was asked about time-frame for implementation of FDI in retail but he refused to comment, saying Parliament is in session.
The decision to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail was taken by Union Cabinet in December last year but it is stuck due to stiff resistance by UPA allies like Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party, besides opposition by other parties and various states.
To a query on rating agencies' threat to downgrade India, Singh said "I do not want to criticise any rating agency. Sometimes they overdo."
In his Independence Day address yesterday, Singh had regretted that the lack of political consensus was hampering the country's economic growth.