Not taking any chances the government will hold a full dress rehearsal of the launch on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the Central Hall of the Parliament on Wednesday night at 10 PM, ahead of the actual launch of the GST on the intervening night of June 30 and July 1. The rehearsal will be supervised by either Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar or his deputy ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and S S Ahluwalia. Concerned officers from various departments including officers from the finance ministry will be present for the rehearsal, official sources have told newswire service PTI.
Wednesday’s rehearsal will be organised to ensure that the event goes without a glitch on Friday. The final event is scheduled to begin at 11 PM on June 30 and is expected to get over at half past midnight. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had a few days ago said that the hour-long event will reflect on the contributions made by the various political parties and different states towards the GST. All Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs have been invited to the event, as per the report.
The Finance Ministry has also set up, what can be called a ‘mini war room’ for the smooth implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. The Finance Ministry ‘war room’ has been equipped with multiple control room and phones. The ‘war room’ has been set-up to deal with any last minute GST crisis. Vanaja N Sarna, the Chief of Central Board of Excise and Customs, has told PTI that the room will act as a feedback and action room specifically established to answer GST related queries of government officials. The mini-war room will be operational from 8 AM to 10 PM
The main event on Friday night will take place in the round Central Hall of the Parliament building. The GST launch will be attended by President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior ministers and bureaucrats. Incidentally, it was, then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee who had piloted the first Constitutional Amendment Bill to bring in the GST back in 2011, as per the report.