Reminiscent of India’s tryst with destiny at the mid-night of August 15, 1947, Parliament’s historic Central Hall will host a function on the intervening night of June 30-July 1 to ring in the nation’s biggest tax reform — GST.
Announcing that the switch over to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will kick in at the stroke of mid-night, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the hour-long function will mirror the contribution made by different political parties and states to the revolutionary new tax regime.
The circular-shaped Central Hall had previously hosted a function that marked 50 years of Independence.
President Pranab Mukherjee, who had piloted the first Constitutional Amendment Bill to bring in GST in 2011 when he was finance minister with the previous UPA regime, will share the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion.
Also on dais will be former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda, apart from Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
All Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament have been invited as also chief ministers and state finance ministers, Jaitley said, adding that all the members — past and present — chairmen of the GST Council and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers have been invited.
GST, he said, over the medium to long term will lead to a rise in revenues of the Centre and states as the size of the formal economy will grow.
GST being a more efficient system will also result in better tax compliance, the finance minister stressed.
(With inputs from PTI)