GST rollout New India will create one tax - one market
GST Launched aims at one market, one tax
India launched its ambitious pan –India indirect tax regime, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the stroke of midnight hour on July 1 to bind the country into a regime of “One Nation, One Tax, One Market”.
At a gala event to launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the historic Central Hall of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the indirect tax reform is a result of combined efforts of various political parties at different points of time. “Albert Einstein had once said that if there is one thing is most difficult to understand, it is income tax. I wonder what he would have said had he seen our tax system he quipped.
The Prime Minister described the GST as “Good and Simple Tax” – good because there will be no tax and simple because there will be only one form of tax. The rollout of GST is the best example of cooperative federalism and success of Indian democracy.
The historic Central Hall of Parliament opened for its first-midnight ceremony in two decades for the launch of India’s most sweeping tax reform, GST, with country’s top leaders , cinestars and industrialists in attendance.
President Pranab Mukherjee, who piloted the first constitutional amendment for unifying more than dozen central and state taxes, shared a specially erected dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice-President Hamid Ansari. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and former Prime Minister H.D Deve Gowda too were on the dais with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Almost the entire council of ministers and MPs from ruling alliance sat in the circular hall along with opposition law makers from Samajwadi Party, BJD, NCP and JD-U.Congress, Left, TMC and RJD boycotted the ceremony. Vijay Kelkar, who had first mooted the concept of GST in a report to finance ministry way back in 2003, were also present at the launch.
The GST Bill was originally piloted by Pranab Mukherjee when he was the Finance Minister in the previous UPA regime in 2011.The GST Council, that brings together the central and state governments has met 18 times to thrash out how the tax will work.
The GST will simplify a web of taxes, regulations and border levies by subsuming an array of central and state levies including excise duty, service tax and VAT. It is expected to gradually reshape India’s business landscape, making the world’s fastest growing major economy an easier place to do business.
It has been dubbed as the most significant economic reform since BJP government came to power in 2014 and is expected to add as much as 2 percentage points to the GDP growth rate besides raising government revenues by widening the tax net.
A four rate structure that exempts or imposes a low rate of tax of 5 percent on essential items and top rate of 28 percent on cars and consumer durables has been finalized. The other slabs of tax are 12 and 18 percent.