GST is on the verge of being launched today. The intention is to unite the entire country into one unified market and dispense with red tape and worse that is keeping the Indian economy shackled. The benefit to flow from it, according to the government, will help everyone across every segment of the economy and even boost growth. The launch is set to happen on the stroke of the midnight in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hami Ansari, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, other Cabinet ministers and members of Parliament. Notably, former PM Manmohan Singh is missing even though another former PM Deve Gowda is very much at the event. Former Union minister Sharad Pawar too is attending, indicating that the Opposition is split on the rollout. Congress, Trinamool Congress, and RJD are boycotting the event. The point to be noted here is that the GST rollout, if it is effectively carried out and there are no really big glitches will ensure a huge windfall for PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 general elections. As far as the opposition is concerned, the early rollout will be a setback. For, even if there are problems after the launch and people face inconvenience, these are likely to be sorted in months and by the time 2019 rolls around, everyone would have more or less forgotten about any fiascos.
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— Republic (@republic) June 30, 2017
But this is a calculated risk. The Opposition is saying the people, the industry and even the digital infrastructure is not yet ready and things may go wrong from day 1. If that happens, the NDA has time to fix it. If the problems persist then there will be poll trouble for the ruling party. However, if things settle down fast enough, then the BJP is set for an even bigger win than it got last time. And on top of that, the Indian economy would have got exactly what it wanted for decades – a united tax structure that binds the entire country. Surely, nothing can be better than that for all concerned.