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Text of Presidentís speech on the launch of Goods & Services Tax from Central Hall of Parliament on June 30, 2017

Goods and Services Tax - GST - Dated:- 1-7-2017 - 1. In a few minutes from now, we will witness the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a unified tax system, in the country. This historic moment is the culmination of a fourteen-year long journey which began in December 2002, when the Kelkar Task Force on indirect taxation suggested a comprehensive Goods and Services Tax (GST) based on the Value Added Tax principle. The proposal to introduce GST was first mooted in the Budget Speech for t .....

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e introduction of GST is a momentous event for the nation. It is also a moment of some satisfaction for me personally because, as the Finance Minister, I had introduced the Constitution Amendment Bill on 22nd March 2011. I was closely involved in the design and implementation and had the occasion to meet the Empowered Committee of state finance ministers, formally and informally, as many as 16 times. I also met the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra a number of tim .....

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re remained confident that GST was a matter of time and it would eventually be implemented. My confidence stood justified when, on 8th September 2016, after the Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament and more than 50 percent of State Legislatures, I had the privilege of giving assent to the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act. Friends: 3. After the amendment of Constitution, the GST Council has been constituted as per the provisions of Article 279A of the Constitution. The C .....

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decisions have been taken by consensus in the Council. I congratulate them. There were apprehensions whether the task of fixing rates for thousands of items could be accomplished by the GST Council, given the wide variations across states. The Council has pleasantly surprised everyone of us by completing its task on time. Friends: 4. 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. This consensu .....

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inance Minister, it has always been one of the largest contributors to the Central exchequer. Service tax is relatively new but has grown very rapidly in revenue terms. Except for a few goods outside the purview of goods and services tax, both of these will now disappear along with Additional Customs Duty, Special Additional Duty of Customs and numerous cesses and surcharges. Central Sales tax on inter-state sale will cease for goods falling under goods and services tax. At the State level, the .....

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ffect of cascading means that the total tax incidence on domestic industry is not transparent. Under GST, the tax incidence will be transparent, enabling full removal of tax burden on exports and full incidence of domestic taxes on imports. Friends: 7. I am told that GST will be administered through a modern world-class information technology (IT) system. I recall that in July 2010, I had set up an Empowered Group for development of IT systems required for the GST regime under the chairmanship o .....

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