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India Finally Rolls Out GST After 17 Years of Struggle: Why there are Mixed Reactions?

The Bill was Passed in the Midnight at the Parliament House on 1st July

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GST. Wikimedia
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  • Modi pointed out number of chapters in the Bhagavad Gita were same as number of times the GST council had met ie 18
  • The President said that during his term even Modi had some issues about the bill but then praised Modi of having a constructive approach towards GST
  • Arun Jaitley complemented the quality and maturity with which the political stakeholders made the GST launch a success

July 1, 2017: After 17 years of limitless struggle, finally on July 1, 2017, GST (Goods and Services Tax) became a reality in India and the country is having mixed reactions about it. While some segment of the population is happy about it, some think it would give rise to inflation and other simply don’t understand the GST bill.

The Bill is launched from the Parliament House where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the person who made this into a reality. He translated this historic tax reform as ‘Goods and Simple Tax’.

During the enactment speech, Modi also pointed out two similarities in the Indian history and GST bill. One was that the number of chapters in the Bhagavad Gita were same as the number of times the GST council had met i.e. 18. Secondly, one was the number of taxes before GST and number of self-governed provinces in India before they were brought under one government by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

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PM Modi said GST was not only a tax reform but a social reform too, and added, “Just like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel united over 500 provinces into one India, there were 500 different types of taxes spread across 29 states and seven Union Territories that we are bringing into one tax regime…. The best brains in the country have been working to make GST a reality and today it has become an exemplar of cooperative federalism in the country.”

Another notable thing about the GST launch was the attendees of the event. The SP (Samajwadi Party) and the BSP (Bahujan Samajwadi Party) didn’t have any take on attending the session but finally, they changed their minds and Ram Gopal Yadav from SP and Veer Singh with Raja Ram from BSP also attended the launch.

The only corporate leader was Ratan Tata and from the Bollywood industry, actor Amitabh Bachchan and Lata Mangeshkar were also invited.

Modi’s speech followed the speech of Pranab Mukherjee who said, “It is also a momentous occasion for me personally. I had introduced the Constitutional Amendment Bill in 2009 as the Finance Minister.”

He also added that during his term even Modi had some issues about the GST in a subtle way but then praised Modi of having a constructive approach towards GST.

After the President, Arun Jaitley was the third speaker who complimented the quality and maturity with which the political stakeholders made the GST launch a success. He also added that “this is a high point in Indian Politics.”

While the Opposition parties, including the Congress, didn’t attend the launch. They criticized that the bill was passed in a hurry and called it a blunder.

The government claimed that the reform will successfully create a national market, enhance the ease of doing business and improve tax compliance. Now after the successful launch of the event, the next most important thing would be towards the implementation of India’s biggest tax reform.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

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An insight into the biggest political parties of India

The next state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul Gandhi to prove his mettle as a leader

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The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons
The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: Indian being a political democratic country, houses a lot of political parties. Since independence, many new parties have emerged to take up the fight for various sections of the society. One of the examples of such a party is AAP (Aam Admi Party). AAP came up with strong political ethics to root out issues faced by a commons man but now the very existence of this party is in question due to poor performance and incompetence of some of its top leaders. But the most prominent of all of the political parties in India are BJP (Bharatiya Janta Party) and the Indian National Congress.

BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons
BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons

In 1980, BJP surfaced from a former party known as Bharatiya Jana Sangh which was founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. BJP’s agenda during the 1980s focused on the ‘Ram Janambhoomi movement’. The party encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. This issue gave the Hindu colour denomination to BJP and in 1996; it emerged as the largest party in the parliament. After being kept away from the power for long, Narendra Modi led the BJP to unprecedented heights in the last elections and the competition was put up by him was unmatchable.

On the other hand, Congress is a more matured political party of India. It got established in the year 1885. After the independence, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Nehru was the front face of the political governance in India but after his assassination, his daughter Indira Gandhi took the charge and became the prime minister in 1966. Unfortunately, Indira Gandhi also got assassinated and her son, Rajiv Gandhi took up the reigns of the party. In the sequence of assassination, Rajiv Gandhi was the next target. Sonia Gandhi came to power in 1998 and she led the party from the front in 2004 elections. This resulted in the political rule of Congress under Manmohan Singh.

After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons
After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons

The recent Assembly election of Gujarat was a real eye-opener for many, as the people’s right to vote was seen quite considerably y exercised. The Congress resistance in the very own fortress of Narendra Modi was a heavy blow to the Modi wave that swept the country. Although, BJP had the last laugh in the election results but the close fight Syama Prasad Mookerjee from the Congress side was appreciable. The new trend seems to be rebalancing the political scenario in India. The tussle between the BJP and Congress will definitely go down in the history of Indian politics.

Nowadays, Twitter is another playground for political parties. The rule of social media platforms has pushed Indian leaders to communicate in the same manner. It’s vividly seen that people take up to twitter to express their views and differences. Rahul Gandhi vetted his displeasure over the performance of BJP in the latest series of attacks by Rahul against Prime Minister Modi.

Last month only, Rahul Gandhi was crowned as the party head. Therefore, the state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul to prove his mettle as a leader. It will be interesting to see the new strategies that will be deployed by Congress to take an edge over their arch rivals, BJP.