Arun Jaitley says that there is a need for GST Council like federal institution in healthcare, farm sector 

Arun Jaitley says that there is a need for GST Council like federal institution in healthcare, farm sector Finance minister Arun Jaitley has made a strong case for creating a federal institution such as the Goods and Services Tax Council for the healthcare and farm sector. “The federal institution experiment of the GST having succeeded… 

there are two other sectors which eminently require federal institutions of this kind… The GST was constitutionally provided for. Those areas are not constitutionally provided for, but political maturity can impose on governments to try that experiment. One is healthcare and one is agriculture,” Jaitley said, addressing the CII Health Summit Thursday. 

Listing out the necessity for setting up such a federal body, he said the states and the Centre both spend on healthcare and have their respective schemes. The minister, however, did not elaborate on the details of benefits that may accrue to the farm sector. Jaitley said the states have their hospitals, and the Centre is also establishing institutes of eminence across the country. The Centre has implemented Ayushman Bharat, and states also have similar schemes, he added. 

“All these needs to be merged so that the benefit of these merged resources starts to benefit patient population of the country. Obviously, it will be implemented through the states, with the Centre coordinating it,” he said. The minister said with a federal institution, patient welfare will no longer be a turf battle. 

“And if you have a federal institution, ultimately this is not a turf issue if my scheme is better than your scheme. It is essentially a welfare issue, whether the patients in my state are better than the patients in other states. Whether they have more facilities. Every state would stand to benefit if this coordination with such a federal institution actually came up between the Centre and states,” Jaitley added. 

In the run up to the implementation of India’s biggest indirect tax overhaul, GST, on July 1, 2017, the Centre and states had agreed to set up a GST Council, chaired by Union finance minister and comprising finance ministers of all states. 



Source: Economic Times


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