GST symbol of cooperative federalism, says Modi

GST symbol of cooperative federalism, says Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Hailing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as “probably the worlds biggest tax reform”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said its implementation was a celebration of honesty and a symbol of cooperative federalism.

With the rolling out of GST about a year ago, the ‘One Nation, One Tax’ dream of the people of this country had become a reality, he said.

The GST was rolled out at a special ceremony held at Parliament House on the intervening night of June 30-July 1, 2017 amid reservations by some opposition parties.

“GST is probably the biggest tax reform in the world. It is not only the victory of integrity but also a celebration of honesty,” Modi said in his monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

“GST is a great example of cooperative federalism, where all states decided to take an unanimous decision in the interest of the nation, and then such a huge tax reform could be implemented,” he added.

The GST Council has already held 27 meetings so far, involving representatives of different states and having different priorities. But in spite of all this, all the decisions taken have been of absolute consensus, said Modi.

The Prime Minister pointed out that before the rolling out of GST, there were 17 different types of taxes in the country, but now only one tax (having various slabs) was applicable in the entire country.

He said that under the GST regime, Information Technology had replaced ‘Inspector Raj’ as everything from return-to-refund was being done online with little manual interference.

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“It is generally believed that such a big tax reform, in a huge country like ours with such a large population, takes five to seven years for effective adoption.

“However, within a year the enthusiasm of the honest people of this nation has resulted in this new tax system achieving stability,” Modi said.

He said the implementation of GST has made movements of goods across the states faster and convenient by doing away with the checkposts.

“The successful implementation of such a huge tax reform in India was possible only because the citizens adopted it and the masses fuelled it. This is a huge success in itself which 125 crore Indians have earned for themselves,” he said.