GST launch: Modi govt plans Parliament’s special midnight session on June 30 to mark historic moment
To mark roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Modi government has convened a special midnight session of Parliament on June 30. The new tax regime under the GST will be rolled out on July 1.
The special Parliament session will start around 11 pm on June 30 and end at 12.10 am on July 1.
Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the special midnight session.
While making the announcement, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Deve Gowda will also share the stage with Narendra Modi.
This will be a joint session of Parliament, with both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha participating in it. The midnight session will be held at the Central Hall of Parliament.
“I anticipate the revenues will grow… Now, trade and industry have to prepare themselves. When you go for a reform, you should not blink,” the Finance Minister told reporters.
Members of the GST Council have also been invited to attend the special Parliament session. The government has requested to also remain present during the special session. Two short films on the GST will be also screened during the session.
Arun Jaitley recently dismissed speculations around the unpreparedness of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for rolling out the new tax regime on July 1.
“The GST Council has categorically decided to implement GST on July 1,” the Finance Minister told reporters.
Earlier, industry body Assocham and Civil Aviation Ministry had requested the Finance Ministry to defer the GST roll out. Both were of the view that the machinery to roll out GST from July 1 was not in place.
WHAT IS GST
The Goods and Services (GST) is an indirect taxation wherein most of the existing taxes will be merged into a single taxation system.
In other words, the GST will put all taxes levied by state and Central government in one basket and merge them into a single-tax system, thus doing away with multiple taxation and promoting the concept of a common market for all.
The GST Council approved a four-tier uniform tax slab of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent on goods and services, plus an additional cess on demerit goods such as luxury cars, aerated drinks and tobacco products.
Food items will not attract any tax and have been kept in the zero-per cent slab.
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.