GST to be launched on June 30 midnight in Parliament


New Delhi, Jun 20 Reminiscent of India's tryst with destiny at the mid-night of August 15, 1947, Parliament's historic Central Hall will host a function on the intervening night of June 30-July 1 to ring in the nation's biggest tax reform - GST.

The GST regime will be rolled out at the stroke of midnight of June 30 at a special function at Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced here today.

PM Narendra Modi government is planning to convene a special one hour midnight session. The Government will use the circular-shaped Central Hall, perhaps for the first time, to launch a new taxation system that is set to dramatically re-shape the over Dollars 2 trillion economy.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are slated to attend the event on June 30, said Jaitley.

The government also plans to sound a gong at midnight to signify that the GST has arrived.

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All Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament have been invited as also chief ministers and state finance ministers, Jaitley said, adding that all the members - past and present - chairmen of the GST Council and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers have been invited.

Jaitley said he expected there to be "some challenges" in the short term after the launch, but he dismissed concerns that registering for and complying with the GST would be too hard.

The government has said GST could add two percentage points to economic growth.

Arun Jaitley recently dismissed speculations around the unpreparedness of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for rolling out the new tax regime on July 1.

A four-rate structure that exempts or imposes a low rate of tax of 5 per cent on essential items and top rate of 28 per cent on cars and consumer durables has been finalised.