GST launch PM Narendra Modi speech: “It is coincidence that even Gita has 18 chapters and after 18 meetings of the GST Council, the tax reform is becoming a reality,” PM Narendra Modi said at the special midnight Parliament session organised for the launch of the Goods and Services Tax. PM Modi said, “The launch of GST sets path for India’s future journey.” “At the midnight hour, we are all set to decide the future journey of this country. In some time from now, the country will start a new journey. The 1.25 billion people of this country are witness to this historic event. The process of coming up with GST is not about economics alone, the entire process is testimony to our belief of cooperative federalism. I am thankful to everyone for coming here to witness this event,” PM Modi said in the Central Hall of the Parliament.
Modi went on to add, “This direction and path that we have chosen, the reform that we are launching, is not a product of a single party or government. This is the outcome of the collective effort of each one of us.” Talking about the earlier tax regime, PM Modi quoted renowned scientist Albert Einstein. “Albert Einstein used to say that one of the most difficult things to understand is income tax. I wonder what he would have said had he seen the multiple taxes that were applied here,” Modi said on a lighter note.
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Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the special session by calling the launch of GST the onset of a new India. “At the midnight hour, we will be launching India’s most ambitious economic reform. GST may be a destination tax, but it will begin a journey for India. At midnight, India will awake to limitless possibilities,” Jaitley said. “The Old India was economically fragmented, the New India has one tax, one market. This is an India where the Centre and states work together on a common goal of shared prosperity.” “This new India will write a new destiny,” Jaitley said.
The Goods and Services Tax rolls out on July 1, 2017 – marking a historic moment for India. GST is said to be the biggest indirect tax reform of independent India. Often referred to as ‘One Nation, One Tax’ – GST simplifies the structure by subsuming multiple taxes. With GST coming into effect, all central – and state-level taxes and levies on goods and services get be subsumed within an integrated tax. GST introduces a four-tier tax structure in the economy – five, twelve, eighteen and twenty eight per cent tax rates.