PM Modi addressing Parliament at the special midnight launch event.
The Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Left, the BSP, the DMK, the RJD and some other fringe parties boycotted the event of GST roll out in the Parliament at Midnight on night 30 June – 01 July, dubbing it as a Tamasha but themselves becoming one in the eyes of the people. Becoming this was the fourth such session in the Indian history. The first was on night 14-15 Aug 1947, next on the eve of Silver Jubilee and similarly the third one for the 50th year of freedom.
However the Opposition became a divided house as the JD (U), the NCP, the BJD, the Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal (S) participated in the historic midnight launch of the GST, being an event of National Importance. This fissure in the opposition unity has come barely a week after 17 parties joined hands to put up a joint candidate against the ruling NDA nominee for the July 2017 presidential election.
The NCP, a key constituent of the Congress-led UPA, broke away from the Opposition ranks, with its chief Sharad Pawar along with Praful Patel and Tariq Anwar attending the event in the Central Hall of Parliament. Anwar said his party was attending the GST launch as it had supported the legislation on ushering in the new indirect tax regime in the country.
JD(S) boss and former Prime Minister H D Devi Gowda also attended the programme, sharing the dais with President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. According to Congress sources, Gowda was requested by a senior party leader not to attend the programme but he did not heed to it. Gowda had been invited, as it is, in the capacity of former prime minister to share the dais with the President. However the party too had decided that he would attend the event. The JD(S) criticised the Congress for not consulting it before taking the decision to boycott the function.
The SP, which had initially announced the boycott, did a 180 ° about turn by attending the event, saying it found no problem when the party had supported the GST bill in Parliament. “When we supported the bill in Parliament, then why would we not attend this function to launch GST? Both the BJP and the Congress had also supported the passage of the bill,” said Ram Gopal Yadav, who was accompanied by Naresh Agrawal.
The function was attended by the union ministers, MPs as well as chief ministers and finance ministers of several states.
The Congress, however, downplayed this break down in the opposition unity. Terming it as a “one-off” development of no importance. A senior Congress leader claimed that the opposition unity will remain intact during the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
India has launched Goods and Services Tax, the biggest tax reform since its Independence. GST is one of the best methods of taxation. It started in France in 1954. The government will be able to tap all the money from the taxes. Here’s a comprehensive list of goods and services which have become cheaper and costlier starting today.
Items that will now cost less:
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