A new economic era has dawned upon India. The biggest tax reform, the Goods and Services Tax, has been implemented throughout the nation. In a historic ceremony at the Parliament, the GST was rolled out. The occasion was graced with speeches by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Prime Minister Modi and finally President Pranab Mukherjee.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the Bhagavad Gita during his speech at the Central Hall of Parliament. He said, “It is a co-incidence that the Gita has 18 chapters and after 18 meetings, GST became a reality.”

Prime Minister Modi seemed at ease during his speech. It showed when he spoke light-heartedly about renowned scientist, Albert Einstein. He said, “Albert Einstein used to say that one of the most difficult things to understand is income tax. I wonder what he would have said had he seen the multiple taxes that were applied here.”

Even though the toughest part of the reform involving the deciding of the tax structure and bringing about a consensus was done by the current government, Prime Minister Modi didn’t hesitate in giving credit to his political adversaries.

He was his gracious self as he said: “The process of coming up with GST is not about economics alone, the entire process is testimony to our belief of cooperative federalism. This direction and path that we have chosen, the reform that we are launching, is not a product of a single party or government. This is the outcome of the collective effort of each one of us.”

Even though the Congress and TMC boycotted the ceremony, Prime Minister Modi congratulated their politicians in making GST a reality. He was extremely mature in his speech as he didn’t try to score any cheap political points.

The ceremony was shown on all news channels, and millions watched it live. The occasion was one of joy as people thronged the streets in many cities to celebrate the occasion. There will be hiccups in the short term, but there aren’t any doubts that in the medium to long term, GST will transform India’s economy.


Vinayak Jain

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