India's biggest tax reform Goods and Services Tax launched by President Pranab Mukherjee, PM Modi

GST is India's biggest tax reform in the 70 years of independence and will help modernise Asia's third largest economy.

Published: 30th June 2017 06:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2017 01:32 AM   |  A+A-

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi press buttons for the launch of 'Goods and Services Tax GST ' at midnight at the special ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)

By Online Desk

At the stroke of the midnight hour, India launched its ambitious nationwide indirect tax regime, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to bind the country under "one nation, one tax, one market".

The roll-out was done by President Pranab Mukherjee in the Parliament's Central Hall. The event took place in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and others.

At the stroke of the gong, the current tax rates were replaced by the GST rates. The Goods and Services Tax has now replaced a slew of indirect taxes with a unified tax regime and will help modernise the third largest economy in Asia.

The event was boycotted by the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK and some other Opposition parties.


IN-DEPTH: How the GST will impact consumers, traders and govt

IN PICS | How will GST affect services?​

IN PICS | 10 things that will become more expensive after GST rollout


12:00 am

President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Narendra Modi officially launch the Goods and Services Tax. 

New Delhi President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands after the launch of 'Goods and Services Tax GST ' at the special ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)

11:55 pm

GST reform is a result of consensus between central and state governments. GST is a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India's democracy. GST will make India's exports more competitive and provide level-playing field to domestic industry to compete with imports: President Mukherjee

11:50 pm

Recounting the GST journey, President Pranab Mukherjee says, "This is a historic culmination of a 14-year long journey, which began in December 2002. It is a moment of personal satisfaction for me." The introduction of GST is a momentous event for the nation, he further adds. 

President Pranab Mukherjee addresses the Parliament moments before the GST launch. (ANI)

11:47 pm

President Pranab Mukherjee takes the dais to address the Parliament ahead of the GST launch.

11:45 pm

GST is a transparent and fair system that prevents black money and corruption and promotes new governance culture: Prime Minister

11:40 pm

It's a coincidence that even the Bhagwat Geeta has 18 chapters, and even the GST council has had 18 meetings! Long wait at toll plazas will end with GST integrating 31 states and UTs as one: Prime Minister

PM Narendra Modi speaks at the Parliament ahead of the GST launch. (ANI)

11:35 pm

GST is an economic integration of India just like what Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had done decades back to integrate the country: PM Modi

11:30 pm

GST is a result of a long thinking; all states along with Centre discussed for years. It is an example of cooperative federalism. We are about to get rid of nearly 500 kinds of taxes tonight: PM Modi

11:25 pm

This historic reform is not an achievement of any one government or party. There couldn't have been a better place (Central Hall of the Parliament) for the GST launch: PM Modi

READ HERE: GST's 17-year roller coaster ride to climax midnight tonight

11:20 pm

It's a big turning point for India. Today at midnight, we will decide the future course of India. India will move in a new direction with GST reform: PM Modi

11:15 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Parliament. 

11:10 pm

GST Council has met 18 times. Reform shows India can rise above narrow politics.  17 taxes now centralised. GST is aimed at easing taxation on the weaker sections: Arun Jaitely

READ HERE: GST will help in lowering inflation, propelling GDP: Arun Jaitley

Illuminated Parliament all set for the GST launch in New Delhi. (Express photo by Shekhar Yadav)

11:05 pm

GST is an important achievement for the whole country. The old India was economically fragmented, the new India will create one tax, one market and for one nation: FM Arun Jaitley

ALSO READ: Lesser talktime, higher bills for mobile phone users under GST regime

11:02 pm

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley takes the dais for introductory remarks on Goods and Services Tax launch.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses the special session of Parliament for the launch of 'Goods and Services Tax GST ' in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)

11:00 pm

All the dignitaries stand up for the national anthem. Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on the dais with President, PM, Vice President, Lok Sabha Speaker at a special ceremony for GST launch. 

10:55 pm

President Pranab Mukherjee arrives at Parliament. His address is scheduled at 11.45 pm. - TV report

10:50 pm

Union Finance Minister arrives at the Parliament for GST launch. - TV report

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrives at the Parliament house ahead of the GST launch in New Delhi. (Express photo by Shekhar Yadav)

10:45 pm

PM Narendra Modi arrives at the Parliament in the national capital for GST rollout. - TV report

10:30 pm

Ratan Tata reaches Parliament to attend GST launch.- ANI

READ HERE: Top leaders, industrialists, filmstars mark GST launch

9:00 pm

Parliament illuminated ahead of the launch of GST, the much-awaited tax regime, in New Delhi on Friday. (Express photo by Shekhar Yadav)

8:35 pm

GST Council cuts rates on certain tractor parts to 18 per cent from 28 per cent. - PTI

8:25 pm

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says tax rate on fertiliser reduced to 5 per cent from 12 per cent. - PTI

FULL REPORT: GST Council slashes tax rate on fertiliser to 5 percent

7:50 pm

School supplies like pencils and books are unlikely to get costlier under the GST regime, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said today.In fact, most consumer goods will not become expensive from tomorrow because GST rate for 81 per cent of the items has been kept below 18 per cent tax category, he said.

READ MORE: School supplies unlikely to get costlier under GST: HRD Minister Javadekar

7:15 pm

After failing to meet the deadline for the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Jammu and Kashmir, the PDP-BJP coalition government has convened four-day Special Session of J&K Assembly from July 4 to discuss the implementation of the new tax regime in the State.

READ MORE: JK misses deadline on GST rollout, convenes Assembly session from July 4


Movie theatres across Tamil Nadu to be shut indefinitely from Monday due to ambiguities around GST: TV reports

Film producer and distributor Dhananjayan took to Twitter, “TN theatres have announced indefinite shut down of theatres from Monday as Govt of TN has not come out with a clear support 2 film industry.We delivered a good film in #IvanThanthiran but sadly Govt.of TN's lack of clarification on both GST&Local Tax is killing our film's success”

Image used for representational purpose

FULL REPORT: Tamil Nadu theatres to shut down from July 3

READ MORE: GST rollout to impact Kollywood, ticket sales

6:45 pm

 The Telangana government has demanded that GST on social infrastructure projects be rolled back to five per cent, saying the State's additional burden works out to Rs 19,200 crore, according to a key Lok Sabha member.

READ MORE: Telangana demands rollback of social infrastructure GST rate

6:30 pm

The Congress-led UDF opposition has decided to boycott the government function to be held at Kochi tomorrow as part of rolling out of GST from midnight, to protest against not discussing and passing the state GST bill in the assembly.

READ MORE: Congress-led UDF to boycott GST function in Kerala

6:15 pm

Slamming the Modi government over the GST roll out at midnight tonight, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said it would bring back the dreaded "Inspector Raj".

READ MORE:  'Inspector Raj' is back, says Mamata on GST

5:45 pm

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said his party was not opposed to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but against its usage as a "propaganda tool".

READ MORE: Opposed to GST being used as propaganda tool: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

4:35 pm

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today dubbed the implementation of GST as a "tamasha", saying the reform was being rushed through in a "half-baked" manner as a "self-promotional spectacle".

READ MORE: GST implementation a 'tamasha': Rahul Gandhi

4:25 pm

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday held out the assurance of a "very smooth" transition into the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, promising that the administration will be very liberal and not implement it "very strictly" in the first two months.

READ MORE: GST rollout to be very smooth, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

4:15 pm

Hours before the roll out of GST, traders in the business hub of Uttar Pradesh today squatted on rail tracks and stopped the Kanpur-Pratapgarh passenger train in a protest against the new tax regime. The traders led by 'Akhil Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal' leader Gyanendra Misra protested at the Lucknow railway crossing here around 9.47 AM and stopped the local train.

READ MORE: Traders protest GST, stop train; wholesale market shut down in Kanpur

 Labourers sitting idle at Khari Baoli street during a shutdown by spice wholesalers as part of protest against GST in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)

3:30 pm

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, described the GST as a "great idea", but slammed the Centre over the way it was being implemented.

READ MORE: Traders are scared, people are worried: Sisodia on GST

3:15 pm

The implementation of GST regime would lead to "chaos" similar to what had happened in the aftermath of demonetisation of high-value notes last year, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said today.

READ MORE: GST will lead to chaos just like demonetisation: Owaisi

1:30 pm

With just hours to go before the GST launch, the Samajwadi Party (SP) was unsure about whether it would attend the midnight function in Delhi.

READ MORE: Samajwadi Party unsure about attending GST launch

(With agency inputs) 



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