Single-Tax GST is now a reality. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday night rolled out the much awaited and biggest tax reform in India post-Independence. Claiming it as 'Good and Simple Tax', PM Modi said that GST has now given India freedom from the 'tax terrorism'.
GST will also help people of India in fighting corruption and black money, PM Modi added.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi together pressed buttons in the historic Central Hall of Parliament to usher in the new regime.
Conceived on the principle of 'one nation, one tax, one market', the tax that subsumes 17 central and state levies was launched in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, MPs, chief ministers, state finance ministers, officials of the Centre and states.
In his speech, Modi said the roll out of GST is the best example of cooperative federalism and success of Indian democracy. "The credit for the new law does not go to one party or one government but was a shared legacy of all," he said.
The GST regime seeks to reduce rates of over 50 per cent of items of daily use and charge others at much lower rate of 5 per cent, 12 per cent and 18 per cent.
A higher tax rate is imposed on luxury and sin goods at 28 per cent in the new regime. Certain services like telephone, banking and insurance are expected to feel the pinch of higher taxes.The GST also promises taxpayers a refund against their sales within 60 days. Similarly, exporters will get refund within seven days. For protection of consumer rights, the new law provides anti-profiteering provisions. In a departure from the normal practice, the GST will be administered together by the Centre and the states.