There should be no politics on GST launch: Arun Jaitley

The government is planning to launch Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the midnight of June 30-July 1 from the Central Hall of Parliament. President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will be present, along with members of Parliament.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: June 27, 2017 3:18 pm
Arun Jaitley, GST, GST rollout, GST Council Finance minister Arun Jaitley. (Express Photo)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday asked the Congress to refrain from indulging in politics over GST launch, saying all decisions with regard to the new tax regime were taken unanimously by the GST Council. The GST Council, he said, is the first federal institution which is chaired by the Union finance minister and has representatives from all states.

The government is planning to launch Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the midnight of June 30-July 1 from the Central Hall of Parliament. President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will be present, along with members of Parliament.

Jaitley has already invited former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda to attend the event.

When asked about the Congress party being non-committal of attending the event, Jaitley said “I don’t know what they will do. All decisions (on GST) were taken collectively and we want the launch programme to reflect the collective nature of our polity”.

Jaitley said that GST is for the entire country and all political parties have supported the GST Constitutional Amendment Act in Parliament. All states sans Jammu & Kashmir have passed the State GST (SGST) act.

“It is for entire country, and President would be there and there should be no politics over it,” Jaitley said at the ‘GST Sammelan’ hosted by ABP News.

The Union finance minister said, in Parliament every political party supported GST and then the Council was set up.

“GST Council is the first federal institution where every decision was taken by consensus. No decision was taken on the basis of UPA Vs NDA, or on the basis of politics. All decisions were taken keeping in mind the benefits to the country and traders,” Jaitley said.

The Congress has remained non-committal about attending the event to mark the launch of GST in the Central Hall of Parliament. GST will subsume 16 different taxes.

AICC chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala yesterday said the Congress was considering whether to attend the meeting and suggested that it had not given any concrete assurance to the government on its participation.

“The Congress party is examining various aspects of the issue, including the manner the GST is being implemented causing harassment to the common people, the unorganised sector and small businessmen,” Surjewala said.

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

The government will use the circular-shaped Central Hall, perhaps for the first time, to launch a new taxation system that is set to dramatically re-shape the over $2 trillion economy.

The launch event will, in all probability, start at 11 pm on 30 June and extend into midnight, coinciding with the roll-out of GST regime.

The GST Bill was originally piloted by Mukherjee when he was the finance minister in the previous UPA regime.

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  1. Cheruvathoor Simon Jacob
    Jun 28, 2017 at 7:05 am
    GST is indeed a desirable tax reform its implementation was delayed, by a few years because of objections from the BJP, when it was in the opposition. There are several concerns on the details the prospect of having to upload each and every invoice, online and that of having to file 37 returns per state, annually, does not make it less cumbersome than before. so also, the categorization of goods and services into five tax slabs would lead to disputes. In several cases, the headline tax rates have gone up and the business community would be inclined to pass it on to the customers as they were not certain whether the set off of taxes paid upstream, would compensate for the increased taxes. When the railways was passing on the increased passenger tax to the users, how could the govt prevent the traders from doing so? A major tax reform of this nature was bound to have many a glitches. It would have been a prudent strategy to test it on a few products first before extending to all items
    1. B
      Jun 27, 2017 at 9:09 pm
      Jaitley ji, zara apni besharam beti ki nangi tasveer to dekh lo. Showing her belly bump. Kya tumne yahi sanskar diye hein apni beti ko?
      1. S
        Jun 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm
        Yes, only you have a birthright to do politics when in opposition. Once in power, you will use same Congress language that opposition should not do any politics on anything. BJP opposed GST tooth and nail while in opposition. Then it was not politics but now it is politics when present opposition does it.
        1. A
          ashok s
          Jun 27, 2017 at 7:07 pm
          How will fake counterfeit goods accounted for gst , jaitley should or must be in knowledge that , in our country exist a parallel economy . which is 38 nearly . Can traders be given a final ultimatum ,that not to trade in such products or services , inform central gsl helpline n get rewarded ,with assurance their names will not be revealed , as even officer attending your call will not know your iden y . its political will . implementing is easy if govt wants . others wise remain in same tax revenue bracket of 17 odd trillions
          1. Patnam Umamaheshwaran
            Jun 27, 2017 at 6:50 pm
            Did he forgot his disruption when in opposition telling duty of opposition is to Oppose .. for the same GST ..
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