When President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched GST - India's Biggest Tax Reform - at the stroke of midnight on 1 July, the nation witnessed yet another history in the making. With the stroke of the gong, current tax rates are successfully replaced by GST rates. It is the fourth time since Independence that an event was held at the Central Hall of Parliament at midnight. The last three celebrated India's Independence and this is among the reasons that the Congress had listed for boycotting the GST launch.
GST, which replaces a slew of indirect taxes with a unified tax, is set to dramatically reshape the country's 2 trillion dollar economy.
"Today, after years, for a new economy, new power to our federalism - there can be no better place than this," PM Modi said to much applause from the 800-strong audience. "We are deciding India's future," the Prime Minister said.
President Pranab Mukherjee, the last speaker before the launch, said it was a matter of personal satisfaction for him because of his role as Finance Minister earlier. He said the new law is a tribute to the "maturity and wisdom of the Indian democracy."
India has witnessed yet another history in the making and the internet is celebrating the moment in its own way.
"The new era in taxation, which we are about to initiate in a few minutes, is the result of a broad consensus arrived at between the Centre and states," Mukherjee said minutes before the GST roll-out in his speech at a special function in the central hall of Parliament.
"This consensus took not only time but also effort to build. The effort came from persons across the political spectrum who set aside narrow partisan considerations and put the nation's interests first. It is a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India's democracy," he said.
While Prime Minister termed GST as a 'Good and Simple Tax' which will end harassment of traders and small businesses while integrating India into one market with one tax rate.
The Parliament on the occasion of GST rollout.
With the rollout of GST, let's hope for a better economy, a better India and a better future for all of us!