India rolled out Goods and Services Tax (GST) from midnight tonight, overhauling India's convoluted indirect taxation system and unifying the $2 trillion economy with 1.3 billion people into a single market.
The session will kick started at 10:55 pm at the Central hall of the Parliament in presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Here are the updates:
#12: 10 PM: President Mukherjee, PM Modi launch Goods and Service Tax in India.
#12:07 PM: It is remarkable that 18 meetings held so far, all decisions have been taken by consensus in the council: President Mukherjee
#12:05 PM: GST will make exports more competitive and provide level playing field to domestic industries, says President Mukherjee.
#12:00 PM: This historic moment is the culmination of 14 year long journey which began in December, 2002: President Mukherjee
#11:58 PM: President Pranab Mukherjee begins his speech inside Central Hall
#11:54 PM: GST means Goods and Service Tax, It also means Good and Simple Tax: Modi
#11:50 PM: GST is not just the ease of doing business, it is also the way of doing business: Modi
#11:47 PM: GST is an example of cooperative Federalism: PM Narendra Modi
#11:44 PM: Gita has 18 chapters, GST Council also had 18 meetings: PM Modi
#11:40 PM: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel unified the country and GST will bring economic unity to India: PM Modi
#11:37 PM: From Ganganagar to Itanagar, from Leh to Lakshwadeep, the nation will see one nation, one tax, says PM Modi.
#11:35 PM: GST is the result of collective efforts of all and not one party or governement: PM Modi
#11:34 PM: India will move in a new direction with GST reform: PM Modi
#11:32 PM: Today at midnight, we will decide India's future course: PM Modi
#11:30 PM: The Central Hall of Parliament has seen many historical moments, so it is the perfect venue for launch of GST: PM Modi
#11:27 PM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his speech.
#11:25 PM: Arun Jaitley completes his speech.
#11:23 PM: The old India was economically fragmented, the new India will create one tax, one market and for one nation: FM Arun Jaitley
#11:20 PM: GST is an important achievement for the country: Arun Jaitley
#11:17 PM: I got my first lessons on GST from former finance minister of West Bengal, Asim Dasgupta: Arun Jaitley
#11:15 PM: Will launch India's biggest tax reform at the midnight hour: Jaitley
#11:13 PM: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley begins his speech by thanking GST Council.
#11:08 PM: President Pranab Mukherjee, PM Modi reaches to Central Hall.
#11:05 PM: President Pranab Mukherjee, PM Modi reaches to Parliament House.
#10:30 PM: Ratan Tata reaches to Parliament House to attend midnight function.
#10:25 PM: GST's would be Villages, Poor, Farmers, and laborers. GST would be a big platform to uplift their financial condition: Ananth Kumar
#10:16 PM: Ministers and invitees start arriving at Parliament House for midnight function.
#10:15 PM: Next three GST Council meeting will be on 1st Saturday of the month starting from August 2017
#10:10 PM: Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Telangana Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu protesting against GST in front of the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex- ANI
# 8:42 PM: I think India will grow faster, better, economy will be benefited, all the states will be benefited: Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra CM-ANI
# 8:36 PM: Consensus in council was to bring the rate down to 5% so that fertilizer price if at all comes down, it doesn't go up: FM Arun Jaitley -ANI
#8:34 PM: One major decision which was raised in response in no. of representations against 12% rate, some felt it may increase burden on farmers: FM-ANI
# 8:28 PM: GST Council cuts tax rate on exclusive parts of tractors from 28 pc to 18 pc
#8:23 PM: GST Council reduces rate on fertilizers from 12% to 5%-ANI
#7:51 PM: Finance Minster Arun Jaitley chairs the 18th GST Council meeting at Vigyan Bhavan
#6:13 PM: I am deeply concerned that arrest clause in GST may well be used to target business leaders who raise voice of dissent on any policy matter/any practice: Mamata Banerjee-ANI
#6:12 PM: Given atmosphere in country of vindictively targeting anyone who dares to disagree with Central Govt: Mamata Banerjee-ANI
#6:10 PM: At midnight of 30th June, 2017, freedom and democracy stand to face grave danger: Mamata Banerjee -ANI
At midnight of 30th June, 2017, freedom and democracy stand to face grave danger. The mockery of Inspector Raj is back: Mamata Banerjee #GST— ANI (@ANI_news) June 30, 2017
Congress party decided to skip the session alleging it a "grand self-promoting tamasha (gimmick)" to gain publicity.The party also accused the government of "insulting" India's freedom struggle, as the previous three-midnight functions held in the central hall of Parliament were related to the country's independence.
On the other hand, the wholesale and retail markets here remained closed with the trade organisations taking out processions in the market areas throughout the city against the enforcement of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The bandh call was given by Uttar Pradesh Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal, which also got the support of around 50 trade organisations.
The traders alleged the bandh caused a loss of over Rs 2,000 crore. The landmark tax reform GST will be launched in the midnight.