Govt all set to ring in GST at stroke of June 30 mid-night

Won't blink on launch, no excuse for biz not being ready: FM
Report by: 
20 Jun 2017

Reminiscent of India's tryst with destiny at the mid-night of August 15, 1947, Parliament's historic Central Hall will host a function on the intervening night of June 30-July 1 to ring in the nation's biggest tax reform -- GST.
Announcing that the switchover to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will kick in at the stroke of mid-night, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the hour-long function will mirror the contribution made by different political parties and states to the revolutionary new tax regime.
The circular-shaped Central Hall had previously hosted a function that marked 50 years of Independence.
President Pranab Mukherjee, who had piloted the first Constitutional Amendment Bill to bring in GST in 2011 when he was finance minister with the previous UPA regime, will share the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion.
Also on dais will be former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda, apart from Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
All Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament have been invited as also chief ministers and state finance ministers, Jaitley said, adding that all the members -- past and present -- chairmen of the GST Council and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers have been invited.
GST, he said, over the medium to long term will lead to a rise in revenues of the Centre and states as the size of the formal economy will grow.
GST being a more efficient system will also result in better tax compliance, the finance minister stressed.
However, in the short term, "there will be some challenges" in switchover to GST, he pointed out without elaborating.
The government will not blink on rolling out the GST from July 1, Jaitley said, emphasising that businesses cannot give any excuse for not being ready as enough time was given to them for preparation.
However, implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will unify more than a dozen separate levies to create a single market, may result in "some disruption" and "technological glitches" initially as traders and the smallest of businesses will have to file returns online, he added.
GST, which was originally planned to be implemented from April 1 but was deferred by three months, will be launched at a grand function in the historic Central Hall of Parliament on the midnight of June 30.
The biggest tax reform since Independence, which will gradually re-shape India's business landscape by making the world's fastest-growing major economy an easier place to do business in, would bring down barriers between 30 states and unifying the USD 2 trillion economy and 1.3 billion people into a single market.
Jaitley said GST over the medium to long term will lead to higher revenues to Centre and states while also increasing the size of the economy and having a positive impact on the GDP.
"We should be prepared that when the switchover will take place. In the short-term, there will be some challenges," he said. "The reform step is for betterment. All reforms initially are seen as disruptive, and in the long run are seen as result yielding reform."