GST launch: India has risen above politics, says Jaitley
New Delhi, June 30: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made the introductory speech before the launch of the GST at midnight. Jaitley thanked all political parties for their "unanimous support" in making tax reform a reality.
We have all assembled here today for an important moment in the journey of our great nation. We are in the process of making history with the launch of the Goods and Services Tax. At the midnight hour, we will be launching one of India's biggest and most ambitious tax and economic reforms in history," Jaitley said.
He said that GST may be a destination tax, but for India it will begin altogether a new journey. It's a journey where India wills awake to limitless possibilities to expand its economic horizons and lofty political ambitions, Jaitely said.
He said that the GST would ensure "single flow of goods and services" across the country by replacing 17 indirect taxes.
He also lauded the support for the Constitutional amendment that brought GST.
The consensus shows that India can rise above politics in the interest of the nation. This is a high point for Indian politics when the world is witnessing slow growth, he further said.
The GST Council met 18 times and some meetings lasted for the entire day. Yet, every decision was unanimous, despite all parties being present. The taxes for 1,211 commodities were decided. We maintained the two principles of not wanting to burden the poor and maintaining revenue neutrality," he said at the central hall of Parliament.