New Delhi : Stage is set for the launch of a nationwide goods and services tax, GST, at a function in Central Hall of Parliament at midnight tonight. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the new tax regime replacing more than a dozen state and central levies built up over seven decades, with a one national GST unifying the country’s 2 trillion dollar economy and 1.3 billion people into a common market.
The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley further said that now large number of traders have registered themselves and the GST Network and other official machinery is fully ready for smooth roll-out of GST from 1st July, 2017.He said that he is sure that GST will not have any inflationary impact. He asked the representatives of trade and industry to inform, educate and explain to their distributors, retailers and consumers at large about the positive impact of GST especially on the price front. The representatives of trade and industry on the other hand congratulated the Government for their bold initiative by bringing historical Indirect Tax Reform which will help not only consumers but also boost the prospects of growth of Indian economy. They assured the Government that benefit of price reduction would be passed on the consumers. They also put forward their concerns and asked the Government to issue certain clarifications to remove any doubt or confusion among the traders.
Congress party has however decided to boycott the event apparently to protest against hardship being caused to small and medium enterprises and traders. Left, RJD, SP and TMC are also boycotting the event.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has made a last minute appeal to the opposition to reconsider their decision saying the landmark indirect tax reform was a result of a joint decision and they cannot run away from it now.