PM Modi terms GST as 'good and simple tax'

Modi said GST is not just a tax reforms but also economic reform, social reform and a tool towards honesty.

New Delhi: Describing the passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) an example of “cooperative federalism” and the outcome of “Team India’s” efforts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted that the new tax regime will play a crucial role in the creation of a “New India”.

Minutes before the official roll out of GST, Mr Modi, while addressing the gathering at Parliament’s Central Hall, said that GST’s scope was not limited to the financial system. GST, he said, has the potential to end harassment at the hands of officers and benefit the poor. He described GST as “Good and Simple Tax.”

In an apparent response to the Opposition, which had questioned the midnight launch of the GST from Parliament’s Central Hall, Mr Modi said there was no venue better than it, which had witnessed great events like the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly on December 9, 1946, country’s tryst with destiny on the midnight of August 14, 1947, and adoption of country’s Constitution on November 26, 1949. He named former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, first President of the country Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sardar Patel and Sarojini Naidu, who he said were witnesses to these great events.

“There could have been no better venue to show the strength of federalism,” said Mr Modi as he asserted that 1.25 crore people are witness to the “historic event.”

Giving credit to all political parties and previous governments, Mr Modi said everyone had concern about the poor. He equated the 18th meeting of the GST Council, which took place ahead of the GST launch, with that of the 18th chapter of Bhagvad Gita and also quoted philosopher-economist-strategist Chanakya to stress that nothing is impossible to achieve if one puts in serious effort.

Asking people to stay away from “afvaahon ka bazaar” against GST, Mr Modi said the new tax regime would act as a catalyst to curb imbalance in the economy, will increase export and help states like Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Northeastern states, which are rich in natural resources but still lag behind.

He said GST will provide equal opportunities to all states to develop, and help states and the Centre to work in tandem to fulfil the dream of “Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat.”

Mr Modi said GST is not just a tax reforms but also economic reform, social reform and a tool towards honesty.

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