India launches new single nationwide tax

Yesterday, Members of the Union Cabinet lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and others for the successful rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The Goods and Services Tax launch will enhance buying power of consumers as over 80 per cent of the goods fall below the 18 per cent tax bracket, but SMEs need to work to remove technology glitches, say experts.

President Pranab Mukherjee said that the unified tax system was "the culmination of 14 year long journey".

Shops and businesses reopened in India amid confusion Saturday, hours after the government introduced a new nationwide tax that will change the cost of almost everything people buy, replacing a complicated mix of state and federal taxes.

The state BJP leadership feels that such workshops will also be utilised to counter West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's charge regarding GST.

"I don't think that there was a single time we thought we will miss the deadline", Adhia said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a special midnight session of parliament to launch GST which he called "a good and simple tax".

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He further said that when the BJP was in the opposition, they protested against the GST tooth and nail, a fact that can not be denied.

President Pranab Mukherjee said the new indirect tax system was a "disruptive change", and any initial problems in its implementation would be overcome.

GST, the biggest tax reform since Independence, is set to unify 16 different central and state taxes like excise, service tax and VAT, to create a uniform rate of tax across the country. It will end harassment of traders and small businesses.

It's historic in the sense that both the centre and the states have yielded ground on their taxation rights, after 17 arduous years of negotiations by successive governments at the centre and in the states. "We have come together tonight at the central hall of parliament", Modi said. This committee will be the authority responsible for taking care of the grievances to ensure that the benefit of GST upon the lower tax rates doesn't get tampered. It believes that the new tax policy on gold would improve the transparency and efficiency of gold supply in India.

Goods and Service Tax (GST) is now a reality.

Indian opposition vowed Friday to boycott the launch of the government's new national tax, adding to the strain ahead of the country's biggest ever fiscal reform.

Modi said the new tax will not only usher in ease of doing business and fight corruption but also broaden the tax net and help the poor. Services, depending on their nature, have been placed under four tax rates of 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent.Service Tax for many services like insurance and telecom will increase from 15 percent to 18 percent, making many services costlier.

  • Adam Floyd