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GST comes into force after 17 years of debate

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Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime officially came into force from July 1, 2017. Government launched the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at a special midnight meeting in Central Hall of Parliament.

Highlights of GST Launch Ceremony:

President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Modi pressed a button in a specially crafted box at the stroke of midnight and formally launched GST.GST comes into force after 17 years of debate

  • Besides, President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice – President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Union Cabinet Ministers including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were present at the launch ceremony.
  • It is to be noted that members of Congress, RJD, DMK and Left parties boycotted the launch ceremony, whereas members of NCP, the JD-U and the JD-S broke ranks with opposition parties to attend the launch ceremony.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee, who had as finance minister in the UPA government in 2011 piloted a constitutional amendment bill to bring in the GST, said the new indirect tax regime is a “disruptive change”.
  • PM Modi said the indirect tax reform is a result of combined efforts of various political parties at different points of time. PM Modi referred to GST as “good and simple tax” that marks economic integration of India.

July 1 to be observed as GST Day

As per an order issued by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), July 1 will be known as ‘GST Day’ and will be celebrated in all offices of CBEC just as Central Excise Day and International Customs Day.

  • On July 1, 2017, all the offices of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) have been instructed to remain open as a trade facilitation measure.
  • In order to facilitate smooth switchover to GST, Government has asked tax offices to convert into GST Seva-Kendras for providing all assistance to tax payers.
  • Apart from giving guidance to GST assessees, GST Seva Kendras should render assistance to taxpayers in migration, registration as well as filing of returns.
  • A guidance manual for such GST Seva Kendras too has been circulated to all offices in a bid to standardise quality taxpayer services.
  • CBEC will be putting up of banners welcoming members of the trade and industry for any facilitation at all field offices.
  • In addition to this, name board of the field offices will be re-named as Central GST Zone/ Commissionrate/ Division/ Range and the logo ‘One Nation, One Tax, One Market’ will be displayed prominently on the name boards/banners/office letterheads.