The GST will replace more than a dozen central and state taxes or Value Added Tax (VAT) with an aim to create a seamless unified market for the $2 trillion Indian economy
In the making since 2000, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) comes into effect from 1 July (at Friday midnight ); PM Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee pressed a button to officially launch the GST in Parliament.
First proposed in 2006, the GST subsumes all into one tax, unifying 1.28 billion people into a single market for the first time; the biggest tax reform since Independence.
The GST is meant to boost growth and scrap local taxes that add to overhead costs and stymie businesses.
The function started with President arriving in the Central Hall in the traditional procession along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. The visiting galleries were full of visitors.
Soon after arriving in the Central Hall, Modi gestured to former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda to join the leaders on the dais.
The speeches by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Modi and the President were received with rapturous applause.
The parliament members, leaders of some opposition parties who were present there lauded the roll out with the thumping of desks.
“GST marks the economic integration of India,” Modi said in his speech. “There are 500 taxes and we are getting rid of it. From Ganganagar to Itanagar and Leh to Lakshadweep, it is one nation, one tax.”
Besides others top leaders, industrialists, economists and celebrities were present on the historic launching of GST at parliament on Friday.