GST Launch: These big names to attend the midnight special session


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has asked opposition parties such as Congress and the Left to reconsider their decision to skip the midnight GST launch saying they were all consulted on the indirect tax reform and can not run away from it. The Congress party's decision not to attend the midnight event appears to be an effort in the same direction. The preliminary work on GST had begun during the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led government in 2000 and the UPA governments piloted the bill later on. But in India, the state and central GST acts have a provision which mandates that manufacturers and service providers have to pass on any benefits from a reduction in tax rate or availing of input tax credit to consumers in the form of lower prices.

The government has planned a mega event to mark the launch of the GST, pegged as the biggest tax reform for India. The launch will begin after speeches by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Saturday, India will start implementing a new, streamlined tax system - the Goods & Service Tax (GST) - which unifies the country's tax code, making it easier to do business across state lines and internationally.

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Notwithstanding this, the government will take a lenient view for tax returns filed in the initial period.

Naidu also said the government had invited former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda to speak at the joint session. While there is a consensus that GST is set to spell good times for the budget and medium-range hotels, the 28% GST on hotel rooms with tariffs of Rs 7,500 and above is another story.

Jaitley further said that despite giving a tax relief for smaller hybrid cars, the automobile companies instead of passing on the relief went on to increase the prices of their cars. In terms of GST's effect on the government's revenue kitty, it seems to be on the wait and watch mode.

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Manohar Lal Khattar, the CM of Haryana said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not going to adversely affect the textile business.

GST was first discussed in the Kelkar Task Force report on indirect taxes in 2003. After two years of wait GST bill passed in Rajya Sabha with 187 votes as YES and 9 Votes as NO. It is estimated to add 0.4 percent to 2 percent to GDP growth.

His colleague, senior party leader Rajendra Chaudhary, however, said SP had always been in favour of the tax reform. No one Central or state government can decide this.

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The GST in various slabs will be implemented throughout the country abolishing the old tax structures.