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Loud Gong, Midnight Parliament Session and PM's Speech to Mark GST Rollout

CNN-News18

Updated: June 20, 2017, 2:07 PM IST
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Loud Gong, Midnight Parliament Session and PM's Speech to Mark GST Rollout
The government will use the Central Hall, perhaps for the first time, to launch the new taxation system that is set to dramatically re-shape the over $2 trillion economy.
New Delhi: A special midnight session of Parliament is likely to mark the rollout of the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime on July 1.

The government has proposed to hold the special session of both Houses from 11pm on June 30 till 00:10am on July 1 where President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will address the lawmakers.

The government will use the Central Hall, perhaps for the first time, to launch the new taxation system that is set to dramatically re-shape the over $2 trillion economy, PTI reported. A gong will be sounded at midnight to signify that GST has arrived.

The GST Bill was originally piloted by Mukherjee when he was the Finance Minister in the previous UPA regime. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh would also occupy the high table along with another former PM, HD Deve Gowda, in the Central Hall during the event.

Chief Ministers of all states will be invited for the event as GST represented an unprecedented exercise in fiscal federalism, sources told PTI, adding GST Council members will be the guests.

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The GST Council, that brings together the central and state governments, has met 17 times to thrash out how the tax will work.

Originally, the launch of GST, which has been in works for over a decade, was to be done from Vigyan Bhawan — the largest convention centre in the national capital that has hosted majority of the meetings of the GST Council.

But the historic Central Hall was thought to be a better choice considering the importance of the new tax code that unifies more than a dozen separate levies to create a single market with a population greater than the US, Europe, Brazil, Mexico and Japan put together.

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GST will simplify a web of taxes, regulations and border levies by subsuming an array of central and state levies including excise duty, service tax and VAT.

It will gradually re-shape India's business landscape, making the world's fastest-growing major economy an easier place to do business.

GST has been dubbed as the most significant economic reform since BJP government came to power in 2014 and is expected to add as much as 2 percentage points to the GDP growth rate besides raising government revenues by widening the tax net.

A four-rate structure that exempts or imposes a low rate of tax of 5 per cent on essential items and top rate of 28 per cent on cars and consumer durables has been finalised. The other slabs of tax are 12 and 18 per cent.

(With PTI inputs)
First Published: June 20, 2017, 10:57 AM IST
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