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The goods and services tax (GST) was launched at the stroke of the midnight hour on Saturday. The tax reform was launched by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a midnight ceremony in Parliament’s historic Central Hall and was witnessed by top leaders, industrialists, economists and celebrities.

The President and the Prime Minister pressed the button together to mark the beginning of India’s biggest tax reform ever.

Calling GST ‘a good and simple tax’, Modi said that it will help the dream of one India, great India come true.

In his 30 minute long speech, Modi listed the economic benefits and also underlined that a common tax will help further unify the country. “Just like Sardar Vallabhai Patel unified the country politically, GST will unify it economically,” he said.

“GST is a simple, transparent system which prevents generation of black money and curbs corruption. It will help provide additional resources to poorer states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar,” He added.

President lauded the fact that all decisions regarding GST were taken by consensus, calling GST a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India’s democracy.

Apart from the leaders and MPs of the ruling party, leaders from opposition parties including Janta Dal United (JDU) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were also present. The Congress, the Left, the TMC and the RJD boycotted the ceremony.

The goods and services tax (GST) replaces more than a dozen levies imposed nationally and by the 29 states.

Know More: FAQs on GST

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