The landmark tax reform measure – Goods and Services Tax (GST) – will roll out from July 1. It is being billed as the biggest tax reform since Independence and will subsume all indirect state and central levies, making India a single market from the first day of the next month. The government will host a special midnight session on June 30 of all MPs at the central hall of Parliament to mark the introduction of the landmark tax reform. While earlier in the day when political parties including Left, Trinamool Congress (TMC), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and finally the main Opposition, Congress declared that their party MPs would boycott the function, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that he hoped that they will reconsider their decision and mark their presence at the function. “Hope every political party will reconsider and revisit its decisions and be party to launch of massive reform to which they have been themselves privy to,” ANI quoted Jaitley as saying.
Jaitley further said that all decisions on GST were taken in consultation with states and political parties too were consulted> Now, he said political parties must shoulder their responsibility. “Those who have party to this consultation and decision making process must also accept this is not a decision of the Central government… it’s equally a decision which 31 state governments and UTs have been a party to and these are representing various political complexions,” he said.
The Congress today decided to keep away from the special midnight June 30 meeting convened by the government on GST implementation, while TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had yesterday announced her party’s decision to boycott the event. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has already questioned the government on “hurrying” into introducing GST and recalled that the ruling BJP had opposed the system when it was in the opposition.