After the Goods and Services Tax (GST), India’s biggest tax reform since independence, was rolled out at the stroke of the mid-night on Friday, passengers of Gujarat’s Queen Express train earlier on Saturday denied paying the additional fare, which was reportedly levied in lieu of the GST. A video recorded by a passenger in the train, which went viral, shows the Travel Ticket Examiner (TTE) of Queen Express asking the passengers to pay an additional fare of Rs 20 per ticket, citing GST to be the reason for the hike in the fare.
As per the video, passengers travelling are seen getting involved in an argument with the TTE, saying the hike should be levied on tickets booked after July 1 and not on the ones booked before the launch of the new tax scheme, even as they denied paying the additional fee. Passengers also demanded for an official circular from the Centre.
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 1, 2017
GST was launched by the government to transform the nation’s indirect taxation system. The new tax reform will be monitored together by both, Centre and the state governments. The new tax regime will make India a common market with common tax rates and procedures and remove economic barriers. It aims at simplify business dealings in India.
Hailing the tax reform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said at a midnight Parliament session that the GST in reality is called a “Good and Simple Tax”, which will be “not only a tax reform but an economic and social reform as well” that will unify the nation, “check corruption and end harassment at hands of officers”.
President Pranab Mukherjee also stated the GST as a “disruptive change”, a consensus between the Centre and states, an effort “from persons across the political spectrum who set aside narrow partisan considerations and put the nation’s interests first”. The President speaking at the ceremony also said the rollout of the new tax regime was “a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India’s democracy”.