Terming the launch of the Goods and services Tax (GST) a historic moment, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday midnight said it is the culmination of a 14-year-long journey which began in December 2002. The President also said that the GST is a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India’s democracy. “It is remarkable that 18 meetings held so far, all decisions have been taken by consensus in the council. GST is a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India’s democracy,” Mukherjee said while speaking during the GST rollout ceremony at the Central Hall of Parliament.
Just before launching GST, the President said the consensus took not only time but also effort to build. The effort came from persons across the political spectrum who set aside narrow partisan considerations and put the nation’s interests first.
He further said, “The tax reform will act as a major boost to economic efficiency, tax compliance and domestic and foreign investment, adding that the tax reform will make exports more competitive and provide level playing field to domestic industries.”
Terming GST a disruptive change, Mukherjee said, “The GST Council should continuously review the implementation and suggest suitable improvements to the new indirect taxation regime,” according to the news agency PTI.
Expressing satisfaction over the rollout, he said, “It is also a moment of some satisfaction for me because,
as the Finance Minister, I had introduced the Constitution Amendment Bill on March 22, 2011.”
Mukherjee also said, “It is similar to the introduction of VAT when there was initial resistance. When a change of this magnitude is undertaken, however positive it may be, there are bound to be some teething troubles and difficulties in the initial stages” adding that these issues have to be solved with understanding and speed to ensure that they do not impact the growth momentum of the economy.”