Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

GST Launch On June 30 With Special Midnight Session In Parliament

GST Launch On June 30 With Special Midnight Session In Parliament

The midnight function to launch the GST will be held between 11 PM and 12.10 AM on June 30 effectively ushering in India's new tax regime on July 1.

The much awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be launched from mid-night of June 30-July 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday. While talks of a special one-hour session of both houses of the parliament are doing the rounds, no official word has come from the government.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would also occupy the high table along with another former prime minister H D Deve Gowda in the Central Hall during the event. But preparations are being made for an event at the central hall. 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. 'The reforms, which will be in place from July I, are certainly for the better, ' Mr Jaitley added.

"The GST Council has categorically chose to implement GST on July 1", the Finance Minister told reporters.

But, with 6.5 million firms already registered for GST and more expected to sign up, there was no excuse for firms not to be ready for what has been billed as the biggest tax reform in India's 70-year history.

Jaitley stressed that all decisions pertaining to GST were taken with consensus and that "all states have passed the law, except Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala".

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.

Central taxes such as Sales Tax, Excise Duty, and state taxes such as Value-added Tax (VAT), Entertainment Tax and Luxury Tax will be subsumed into the GST.

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