New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have launched Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the Central Hall of Parliament at the stroke of 12 in the midnight of Friday-Saturday.
“One India, One Tax is here. It is a tribute to India’s unity and its maturity. GST is a path-breaking legislation,” Pranab Mukherjee said.
The president introduced the GST, and congratulated everybody that made the historic bill possible. He spoke of his own contribution to the mega effort.
“The 14-year journey has ended tonight. As a finance minister, I introduced the constitutional amendment bill in 2012,” recalled Mukherjee.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the GST would secure India’s future. It is a turning point for India. It is the result of combined efforts of all the governments. It will improve business efficiency. It is not an achievement of any one government, Modi said.
“This place has seen many noble leaders. The central hall reminds us of December 9, 1946 when Pandit Nehru, Maulana Abdul Kalam, Sardar Patel and many other stalwarts first assembled in this hall. The Independence was celebrated here. I think there cannot be a better place to launch a momentous reform of this magnitude. The reform goes beyond economy,” said Modi.
The best brains of the country had contributed to the GST, as we see it today. It is the symbol of cooperative federalism. It is the example of the power of team India, he said. He congratulated the GST Council and every person who has made his or her contribution.
Modi quoted Chanakya to justify the GST. He spoke of Patel’s efforts to unite the country.
GST will remove confusion. Today India is being integrated economically. Albert Einstein said the most difficult thing to understand is income tax. If he were to be here today one may wonder what he would have said, Modi said. This system will reduce corruption and encourage honest business. We are moving to innovative tax regime, he said.
Modi said the GST would simplify taxation. GST will bring India together, emphasized Modi. He said the GST would uplift the poor.
Modi referred to Lokmanya Bala Gangadhar Tilak’s Gita Rahasya. He described GST as “Goods and Simple Tax.” He spoke of Pranab Mukherjee’s efforts at every stage.
President Pranab Mukherjea arrived at the Parliament House at 11 pm. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has welcomed the president. National anthem was played. The anthem was played at the end as well.
Important Moment In Journey
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley welcomed the gathering.
“It is an important moment in the journey of the great nation in the process of making history. We are ushering in Goods and Services Tax ( GST) which will make India ‘One Nation & One Tax.’ It will lead to India where the centre and states work together in the GST Council,” Jaitley said.
Jaitley said President Pranab Mukherjee had been one of the pioneers of the reforms for which efforts started 15 years ago. We have pooled our sovereignty, he said.
Jaitley acknowledged the contribution of Yeshwanth Sinha and others. The GST council has met 18 times. There was no need for voting even once, although there are representatives of various political parties. Everyone rose above petty politics. The main idea is that there should be no tax over tax. Tax avoidance will be made difficult, he said.
Jaitley said the finance ministers of the states have worked day and night. He thanked all the persons who made GST Launch possible by this day.