In one the biggest tax reforms since Independence, India on Friday night switched to One Nation, One Tax system better known as Goods and Services Tax (GST). Even though the new tax reform is supposed to simplify the system and create better tax regime, the traders across India have expressed dissent.
#2:00 PM: Cinema industry lodges protest
Need clarity from Centre and State on whether entertainment tax collected will be part of #GST or separate in Tamil Nadu: Vishal— ANI (@ANI_news) July 1, 2017
#1:00 PM: J&K Protests
Most of the shops and other business establishments were shut across Kashmir on Saturday to protest against GST in the state, prompting authorities to impose restrictions on the assembly of people in parts of Srinagar as a precautionary measure. The shutdown call was given by Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers (KTMF).
The traders and the opposition parties claim the new tax regime would lead to erosion of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir guaranteed by Article 370 of the Constitution. However, public transport was plying normally.
KTMF said that GST, in its present form, would lead to erosion of the fiscal autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir and was not acceptable to the people of the state.
“We are against this new law in which they talk about one India, one tax. We will not allow the implementation of this new law, even if we have to sacrifice our lives.
“We will not allow the erosion of our special status,” KTMF president Muhammad Yasin Khan said.
#11:30 AM: P Chidambaram calls GST a mistake
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday slammed Goods and Services Tax as, he says, it will incur huge losses to micro, small and medium-scale traders.
"It is not the original GST that experts had drafted earlier, this will seriously impact inflation," Chidambaram said in a press conference.
It is not the original GST that experts had drafted earlier, this will seriously impact inflation :P Chidambaram pic.twitter.com/JrqiBuDimY— ANI (@ANI_news) July 1, 2017
#Midnight: Union Ministers shower praise
Meanwhile, Union Ministers showered praises for the new Good and Services Tax on Friday night and said that the tax reform measure will transform the country into a “New India” with uniform tax regime.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the new transparent, effective and progressive indirect tax regime will fulfil the dream of “New India”.
“As the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) said, GST is much more than an economic reform. It will take shape of social reform,” Pradhan said after attending a midnight function in Parliament organised for rollout of the GST.
Power Minister Piyush Goyal said barring a few, the entire nation has come together in “one stream and one necklace” to celebrate the launch of the “game-changing” reform that India always wished for.
“The GST will not cause distress or difficulty to common man, but it will make tax evasion harder,” he said.
Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said the Congress, which chose to boycott the launch event, will regret its decision later.
He said the Congress took the decision to keep away from the function despite the Modi government acknowledging the contribution of the previous governments by inviting former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda.
Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said GST will make India free of black money.
“I am confident that this will act like a boon for the common man as it will bring down prices. This landmark legislation will convert India into the economic union with uniform rules, laws, tariff and procedures across the nation,” she said.
Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu said in the coming days, tax compliance and tax collection will improve and the common man’s problem in paying taxes will go.
Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar said the GST council will come together again whenever it will be required.
A historical moment. PM & Pres congratulated all including previous govts. If they didn't come, may Almighty give them some sense: D Pradhan pic.twitter.com/SrwXfdnhjn— ANI (@ANI_news) June 30, 2017