NEW DELHI : The country witnessed the biggest ever tax reforms in the history with the launch of the Goods and Services Tax, GST at a gala event last midnight. The new tax regime replacing more than a dozen state and central levies came into effect the moment President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed the launch button in the Central hall of the Parliament. President Pranab Mukherjee in his speech before the launch said it is a momentous occasion for all in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, the PM said that the day marks a decisive turning point, in determining the future course of the country.
He recalled that the Central Hall had been witness to several historic occasions in the past as well, including the first session of the Constituent Assembly, IndiaÂs independence, and the adoption of the Constitution. He described GST is an example of Cooperative Federalism.
He quoted Chanakya to say that hard work can overcome all obstacles and help us accomplish even the most difficult of objectives. He said that just as Sardar Patel had ensured political integration of the country, GST would ensure economic integration. Recalling the famous scientist Albert Einstein who said that income tax is the most difficult thing to understand in the world, he said that GST would ensure one nation, one tax. He said that GST would lead to immense savings of time and cost. Savings of fuel due to elimination of delays at State border crossings will help the environment as well, he added. The Prime Minister said GST would lead to a modern tax administration which is simpler, more transparent, and helps curb corruption.
He described GST as a ÂGood and Simple TaxÂ which would ultimately benefit the people. The Prime Minister also quoted a shloka from the Rig Veda to describe the spirit of common goal, common determination, leading to mutual and shared benefit for the society.
Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari, Former Prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, BJP Party President Amit Shah and a host of political leaders cutting across party lines and senior ministers and bureaucrats from different states witnessed the formal launch of indirect tax regime. Top Industry leaders, economists and celebrities were also present to witness the launch of landmark GST at the historic Central Hall of Parliament which opened for a midnight ceremony for the first time in two decades.