New Delhi: Members of the Union Cabinet lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and others for the successful rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) here.
However, the Ministers also launched a scathing attack on the Opposition for boycotting the midnight session of the Parliament and were of the common view that they should have attended the ‘historic’ moment.
“The Opposition should have attended this event. I don’t know why they didn’t. But I would like to appreciate those who took part in this historic moment of national importance. This will surely bring economic integration and simplify the taxation structure followed in the country,” Union Minister for Housing and Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu told ANI.
Backing his stance, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said post the launch of the GST, India will emerge stronger and establish a significant position in the market.
Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani, while lauding the new tax regime, said the rollout has proved the strength of democracy to be cooperative federalism.
“Today, the democracy has taken centre stage. It is indeed a historic moment for India. As far as the boycott is concerned, history has shown that those who oppose development slowly and eventually lose their identity,” she said.
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar also supported the Cabinet’s stance and said the new tax regime will not only increase tax compliance and collection, but will also bring down inflation, thus being beneficial to the common man.
Prabhu also added that GST is capable of ‘changing the face of India’. Speaking of the concerns raised by several unions and parties alike, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari asserted that amendments will be made as and when required. “Give us a month’s time. All the issues that crop up will be resolved,”Gadkari told ANI.
Earlier, hailed as the ‘most ambitious economic reform’ in India, the GST was launched in the midnight session of the Parliament, in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, among other dignitaries.
Ending more than 11 years of hectic argument among the Centre and the states, the GST is set to completely transform the indirect taxation landscape in the country involving both the Central and State levies. In a departure from the normal practice, GST will be administered together by the Centre and States. The biggest tax reform since independence – GST – will pave the way for realisation of the goal of One Nation – One Tax – One Market.
It will benefit all the stakeholders namely industry, government and consumer as it will lower the cost of goods and services give a boost to the economy and make the products and services globally competitive, giving a major boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Under the GST regime, exports will be zero-rated in entirety unlike the present system where refund of some of the taxes does not take place due to fragmented nature of indirect taxes between the Centre and the States.
However, GST will make India a common market with common tax rates and procedures and remove economic barriers. GST is largely technology driven and will reduce the human interface to a great extent. GST is expected to improve ease of doing business in India.