GST set for June 30 midnight launch at special Parliament session

Tamil Nadu Assembly

THE historic Central Hall of Parliament will host a midnight function on June 30 to launch the sweeping tax reform of GST, reminiscent of India's tryst with destiny on the midnight of August 15, 1947.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday reaffirmed that GST will be rolled out from July 1 and on preparedness of the MSMEs for GST regime he said July 1 rollout date was announced six months ago in order to give enough time to the industry to be GST ready. "Two former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh, Deve Gowda will also be present", Jaitley told reporters during a press conference. President Pranab Mukherjee will officially launch the Bill at Parliament's Central Hall. PM Modi will deliver a speech at the special gathering of parliamentarians. All Members of Parliament, Chief Ministers, State Finance Ministers, GST Council members and officials who helped, and all chairmen of the empowered committees on GST will be invited, said Mr. Jaitley.

President Mukherjee will unveil India's new tax regime on July 1, Jaitley added.

The GST Council had on Sunday extended the deadline for filing the first set of returns, a move that will likely soothe frayed nerves of millions of traders.

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He also dared the BJP to call mid-term polls in Maharashtra and said Fadnavis-led regime would be singed by unrest among farmers. While a host of BJP and Sena leaders were present at the Thackeray home, none of them were part of the meeting.

Jaitley said that most states had accepted the amendments made to the act and had already paved way for its implementation.

GST will simplify a web of taxes, regulations and border levies by subsuming an array of central and state levies including excise duty, service tax and VAT.

Dubbed as the most significant economic reform since BJP government came to power in 2014, the GST is expected to add as much as 2 percentage points to the GDP growth rate besides raising government revenues by widening the tax net.

Food items will not attract any tax and have been kept in the zero-per cent slab.