Calling the GST a simpler, modern and more transparent taxation system that will do away with 500 different taxes levied across the country’s 29 States and seven Union Territories, Mr.
Modi sought to allay the anxiety in the business community about the preparedness for the transition to the new tax regime, and said that even though not everyone is familiar with technology, each family will have a Class X or XII student who can help carry out the GST compliance requirement of filing an online return each month.
While Opposition parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, chose to stay away from the function, the Prime Minister was wholehearted in his acknowledgement of the role of all parties in the GST’s journey and compared the deliberations over different governments on GST to the prolonged debate over the Constitution that started in the same Central Hall of Parliament in November 1946.
Meanwhile, a last-ditch attempt on Friday by Jammu and Kashmir to pass the necessary legislation to enable a simultaneous rollout of GST with the rest of the country failed, as no consensus could be reached.
The government’s think tank Niti Aayog sought to play down expectations of the economy growing faster due to the GST regime, with its member Bibek Debroy stressing that the new dispensation with multiple tax rates is ‘far from ideal’ and hopes of GDP growing by 1%-1.5% were pinned on an ‘ideal GST’, not an ‘imperfect one.’