1. GST Launch: After Congress, TMC, now RJD to boycott Parliament midnight session on June 30

GST Launch: After Congress, TMC, now RJD to boycott Parliament midnight session on June 30

GST Launch in India: After a long wait and too much of speculation, the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be launched on at midnight on June 30 at a grand midnight function.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: June 30, 2017 12:17 AM
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GST Launch in India LIVE Updates: After a long wait and too much of speculation, the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be launched at midnight on June 30 at a grand midnight function which is scheduled to take place at the Parliament. The event will take place at the circular-shaped Central Hall of the Parliament which also hosted the function to mark 50 years of Independence. The event will be attended by President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and a host of senior ministers and bureaucrats, among others. Under the new structure, the commodities will be divided into four tax categories: 5%, 12%%, 18% and 28%. The launch event is likely to start at 11 pm on June 30 and will be on till half past midnight, a source told PTI. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the star speaker at the event.

Here are GST rollout LIVE updates:

9: 45 PM: Tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will at midnight unveil the new tax regime replacing overnight the messy mix of more than a dozen state and central levies built up over seven decades, with a one national GST unifying the country’s USD 2 trillion
economy and 1.3 billion people into a common market.

9: 29 PM: Meanwhile, stage is all set for the launch of a nationwide goods and services tax at midnight tomorrow amid protests from opposition parties who see hardships to small businesses in pushing through the biggest economic reform without preparations.

9: 10 PM: The JD(S) criticised the Congress for not consulting it before taking the decision to boycott the function to mark the launch of the new indirect tax regime.

8: 59 PM: Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda will attend the special midnight programme in Parliament on the GST rollout convened by the government tomorrow, not withstanding the boycott by other Opposition parties.

8: 40 PM: The party will back the Delhi Bandh call given by traders in protest against the introduction of the new tax, he Ajay Maken said.

8: 25 PM: GST in its present format is “unacceptable” to the Congress as it will “ruin” small businesses and create “unemployment”, senior party leader Ajay Maken has said.

8: 11 PM: Earlier in the day, the Congress decided to keep away from the special midnight June 30 meeting convened by the government on GST implementation. The decision came after Congress President Sonia Gandhi met former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with other leaders today.

7: 49 PM: Telangana Finance Minister E Rajender today said the state was ready to migrate to Goods and Services Tax from Saturday, though it is looking to the Centre for some solace with regard to revision of tax rates on about 35 items.

7: 30 pm: After Congress, TMC, DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) will also boycott special program on GST in Parliament’s Central Hall on midnight of June 30: ANI

7: 18 PM: GST will also put the economy on a high growth trajectory over the medium to long term, which in turn will lead to higher steel demand, Sajjan Jindal said further.

6: 52 PM: SW Steel chairman and managing Director Sajjan Jindal termed GST as a transformative reform, he said the new tax regime will simplify and rationalise the current levies, enhance efficiencies and boost competitiveness.

6: 33 PM: Arun Jaitley asked the opposition party not to skip GST launch tomorrow

6:10 PM: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu called GST Indian economy’s tryst with destiny. “GST is Indian Economy’s Tryst with Destiny. It is the biggest reform after independence,” he was quoted saying by ANI.

6:00 PM: Talking about the political parties who are boycotting the launch event of GST, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said political parties must display broad shoulder and own up responsibility.

5:20 PM: Central taxes being replaced by GST are service tax, special additional customs duties (SAD), additional Excise duties on goods of special importance, central excise, additional customs duties, excise on medicinal and toilet preparations), additional excise duties on textiles and textile products, and cesses and surcharges.

4:32 PM: Jairam Ramesh added that GST is an important change, but this GST is not a revolutionary step. He said all small traders, MSME’s will bear the brunt.

4:30 PM: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh while speaking to media said only two BJP chief ministers opposed GST for 10 years: Narendra Modi & Shivraj Chouhan.

4:25 PM: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has reacted by expressing her disappointment at the multi- tiered approach to Goods and Services Tax (GST). “GST is a unique game changing opportunity, let’s not squander it by a complex tax structure. Very disappointed at multi-tiered approach,” the Biocon chairperson said in a tweet today.

4:10 PM: While addressing a press conference, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said party has decided to boycott the event as BJP is silent over issues like suffering of farmers and unemployment in the country.

4:00 PM: “In India, we are going through historic times, a new tryst with destiny which will unite all the states of the country once again. The GST, in its best form, has the potential to increase growth substantially once all the uncertainty peels away,” CII President Shobana Kamineni had said.

3:45 PM: The GST will replace about 20 federal and state taxes and will unify $2 trillion economy and 1.3 billion people into a single market.

3:30 PM:   “The government is not ready to heed to some of the appeals (of sections of the concerned industry), and they are going ahead in a hurry.  Taking into consideration all this, we have decided to avoid the session,” CPI leader Reddy said earlier.

3:05 PM: Communist Party of India has also confirmed that it will be skipping the midnight launch session. “They (the government) are doing it in a hurry without giving proper time,” CPI General Secretary Suravaram
Sudhakar Reddy said.

3:00 PM: Mizoram Finance and Taxation Minister Lalsawta has said that GST will be implemented in the state on July 1. “Not only Mizoram and the Northeastern states, many other states would have initial hiccups in the implementation,” the minister said.

2:40 PM: CII President Shobana Kamineni believes that the Goods and Services Tax is India’s new tryst with destiny which will unite all the states of the country once again.

2:30 PM: The decision by Congress to not attend the launch event was taken after a meeting between Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. The party has been in a dilemma over attending the session and has had wide-ranging discussions with other parties also, which are likely to follow suit.

2:25 PM: “IATA has been in regular contact with the Indian authorities on several issues regarding the application of the GST to the airline industry based on the underlying legislation and have been supporting  affected airlines with GST compliance-related activities in the lead-up to implementation on 1 July 2017,” said Amitabh Khosla, Country Director – India, International Air Transport Association (IATA).

2:10 PM: Businesses have welcomed GST with open arms. “Since June 25, 1.60 lakh applications for fresh registrations have come in. Of this 53,000 applications have been completed with details of business. The rest are in process,” GSTN Chairman Navin Kumar told PTI here.

1:35 PM: Congress has confirmed that it will not attend the GST midnight session tomorrow. The news was confirmed by Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi, reported ANI.

1:25 PM: Yesterday, Jammu and Kashmir’s Minister of Finance Haseeb A Drabu had said that the state government will factor in constitutional, legislative, administrative and institutional issues distinct to the state while implementing GST. “Apart from safeguarding the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir, we will also factor in administrative, legislative and other safeguards under the new tax regime,” Drabu had told media.

1:05 PM: “I appreciate the 7 per cent rebate announced by state Finance Minister Amit Mitra against the 18 per cent tax on every Rs 100 ticket. It means, we will still have to pay Rs 11 for every Rs 100 ticket. This will harm single screens promoting Bengali films,” owner of distributor Priya Entertainments, Arijit Dutta told PTI today.

12:25 PM: In what could be a bad news for some people, GST rollout may make alcoholic beverages dearer as prices are likely to be increased by 3 to 5 per cent for whiskey and wine, and 12 to 15 per cent for beer.

12:01 PM: “Swadeshi Jagran Manch has been saying for long that though GST will make compliance easier for big businesses and multi-state operators, but at the same time onus of compliance for small scale industries may cause a host of problems, putting them at loss,” said a statement released by the organisation.

11:35 AM: Mukesh Ambani added that free market is perhaps the greatest force for economic good in human history of all earthly inventions. He said the free market is a force for generating wealth and transforming lives and the real promise of GST is promise of economic liberation.

11:15 AM: Mukesh Ambani hailed GST by calling its implementation ‘economic freedom’. “But there is just one way of describing its true promise. GST is not just another piece of reform or transform, however significant. GST is the liberation of our economic imagination. It is our economic freedom,” he said.

11:00 AM: Now President Pranab Mukherjee had piloted the first Constitutional Amendment Bill to bring in GST in 2011 when he was finance minister in the previous UPA government.

10:45 AM: “Our Parliamentary Party has decided not to attend the 30th June 2017 midnight programme at Parliament House to celebrate the GST as a mark of protest,” West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said.

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