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Jammu and Kashmir will soon join GST regime, assures Jaitley

02 July 2017

He further said, "GST showcases the power of Team India, It shows how the Centre and states come together to do good for the poor".

President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that introduction of GST was a "momentous event" for the nation and "a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India's democracy" while pointing out that the success of major changes always depends on their effective implementation.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, one of the architects of India's landmark economic reforms in the early 1990s, however, stayed away as the main opposition Congress and its allies boycotted the event they called a "tamasha" (gimmick).

Here's a look into what went on inside the session.

The new tax regime, to be effective midnight tonight, will replaces the messy mix of more than a dozen state and central levies built up over seven decades, with a one national GST unifying the country's Dollars 2 trillion economy with 1.3 billion people into a common market.

Some of India's biggest automakers and retailers announced price cuts on Saturday as Asia's third-largest economy switched to a new nationwide sales tax at the stroke of midnight, replacing a host of provincial and national levies.

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The sweeping reforms comes less than a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi withdrew India's largest banknotes in a sudden move created to outmanoeuvre tax cheats. "From Ganganagar to Itanagar, from Leh to Lakshadweep, now India will be One Nation, One Tax", said Modi.

Businesses were asking for more time to implement changes, anxious that they are not ready for the move to the new system.

In the making since 2000, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) finally kicked-in from July 1. He said, "Today at 12 midnight, we have united in the Central Hall, this is a place where uncountable icons of our country have set foot".

"We are not selling right now... permission for manual billing has not been received yet", said Dinesh, manager, Baggit, a premium leather brand for bags. Refrigerators and air conditioners were among items likely to cost much more; they'll be taxed at the top rate of 28 percent while the highest tax applied in any of India's states now is 23 percent.

GST is not just "ease of doing business" but "way of doing business". "But when the GST is applied everything will cost more so we chose to just go ahead and buy it now". "Evidently, it is a good and simple tax as it's a single one tax for one country and good for the development of the country".

In Kanpur, traders stopped few trains in protest of GST, whereas in PM Modi's home state, Gujarat, textile manufacturers and traders are in the midst of 3-day strike against GST.

Jammu and Kashmir will soon join GST regime, assures Jaitley