Source: PTI

Hello GST! What’s Changed On Day 1

Short-Term Pain For Retailers

While acknowledging the long-term positive impact of GST, Govind Shrikhande, managing director at Shoppers Stop expects to see some short-term pain until regulations and processes settle down.

As a retailer, we mainly sell national and international brands, hence we are awaiting announcements from the respective brands on the retail price direction and overall impact,” Shrikhande said in an email statement.

GST A Game Changer, Says Naveen Jindal

Naveen Jindal, chairman of JSPL expects the 'one nation, one tax’ regime to be a game changer for the economy.

Maruti Suzuki Passes Entire GST Benefit To Customers

The country’s largest car maker said it has passed on the entire GST benefit to customers, as the ex-showroom prices of some of its models drop as much as 3 percent.

However, it said the price of its Smart Hybrid Ciaz and Ertiga Diesel has increased as it gets taxed at a higher rate, according to the auto maker’s press release.

The new prices are effective from July 1.

Eating Out Becomes More Expensive

Heads-up! Your morning breakfast just got expensive. Having a masala dosa with the obligatory sambar will cost at least 10 percent more than what it would in the pre-GST era at Bengaluru’s popular South-Indian eatery Adyar Ananda Bhavan Sweets.

Mobile Phones To Get More Expensive

The government imposed a 10 percent basic customs duty on mobile phones including some accessories in a bid to encourage phone makers to produce locally.

10% Customs Duty On:

  • Cellular mobile phones
  • Charger
  • Battery
  • Wire Headset,
  • Microphone and Receiver
  • Key Pad
  • USB Cable

Still Exempt

  • Printed circuit board assembly (PCBA)
  • Camera Module
  • Connectors Display Assembly
  • Touch Panel
  • Cover Glass Assembly
  • Vibrator Motor and Ringer

India Launches Historic Tax Reform

India will now usher into the age of a completely new and unified tax regime. The Goods and Services Tax has replaced a plethora of central and state taxes, such as excise duty, service tax and sales tax.

The rates and rules under GST have been determined by the GST Council, a panel of state finance ministers and the union finance minister, over the course of 18 meetings.

You can check out the GST rates of various items here.

Also Read: What Is GST? Why Should You Care?

President Mukherjee Calls GST Launch A Moment Of Personal Satisfaction

President Pranab Mukherjee described the introduction of GST as a moment of "personal satisfaction" as he had announced the amendment first on 22nd March, 2011.

In his address, Mukherjee emphasised on the fact that the decisions in the 18 meetings of the GST Council were all taken unanimously.

The new era of taxation which we are about to initiate is a result of broad consensus between states and the Centre
President Pranab Mukherjee

GST Is Result Of A Collective Effort, Says PM Modi

The rollout of the Goods and Services tax is not the achievement of a single political party, but rather the collective effort of all governments, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address.

He touted the new indirect tax regime as the most effective way for helping the poor of the country, adding that it will help all the states prosper.

GST is an important part of new India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The PM also stated that the "good and simple" tax (a mnemonic for GST) system will be a catalyst for export promotion as well.

Modi began his much anticipated speech by drawing up similarities between the launch of GST with the historic first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of India that took place in the same central hall in December 1946.

Quoting Indian scholar Chanakya, Modi said that anything can be achieved with hard work and the efforts towards GST have summarised that.

Revenue Neutrality And Lesser Burden Are Main Aims Of GST, Says Arun Jaitley

The main aim of India's new indirect tax regime was to reduce burden on the weaker sections of the society while ensuring that it doesn't effect the government's revenue, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as he began the proceedings of the special midnight GST launch.

Jaitley said that the "old India" was economically fragmented, but the "new India" that GST will create will give birth to a single market for the nation.

A single flow of goods and services will happen in the country
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

He added that GST will help curb inflation, make it difficult to evade taxes while boosting the gross domestic product of the country.

The President Has Arrived

'GST Bhavan': Central Excise Building In Mumbai Renamed

The Central Board of Excise and Customs building in the Churchgate area of Mumbai was rechristened as the ‘GST Bhavan’ ahead of the rollout of the new indirect tax regime.

Ratan Tata Arrives At The Parliament

Who's Coming (And Not Coming) For The GST Launch?

Drama Outside Parliament

Rajya Sabha member from Telangana, Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu sat outside the Parliament building, in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue, to protest against the tax applicable on the handloom sector under GST.

Rapulo, who is of the Indian National Congress, sat with posters demanding handlooms to be treated the same as raw salt, implying that they be exempt from taxation.

Parliament Decked Up For Midnight Launch

The Parliament building has been decorated for the special function to launch GST at midnight. The function will begin at 11:00 pm in the Central Hall of Parliament House in New Delhi, India.

Source: Lok Sabha Twitter handle
Source: Lok Sabha Twitter handle

Anand Mahindra Geared For GST

Executive chairman of the Mahindra Group Anand Mahindra chose words from Jawaharlal Nehru's famous 'tryst with destiny' speech which he had delivered on the eve of India's independence in 1947, to describe the upcoming midnight launch of GST.

GST Council Meet Ends; Fertiliser Rates Revised

The GST Council has revised down the tax rate applicable on fertilisers to reduce burden on farmers, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the conclusion of the 18th meeting of the panel.

GST rate on fertilisers will now be 5 percent, as compared to 12 percent which was proposed earlier. The tax rate on exclusive tractor parts too was reduced to 18 percent from 28 percent earlier, a tweet by the Ministry of Finance said.

The council also finalised some additional rules, Jaitley said.

Arvind Subramanian Flags Two Challenges After GST Implementation

India's chief economic adviser Arvind Subrmanian told BloomberQuint that the simplification of rates, and bringing more items like real estate, power and petroleum under the tax net will be the two big challenges after implementation of GST.

Subramanian added that rates under GST are likely to be rationalised and simplified over the next one or two years.

Watch Arvind Subrmanian's full interview with BloombergQuint here.

Everything You Need To Know About GST

L Badri Narayanan of law firm Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan gives a crash course about GST ahead of its mega midnight launch.

Nestle Will Cut Prices On Stock Manufactured In July

Nestle India Ltd. said that price reductions under GST will be put into effect for the stock it manufactures in July.

"There will be a transition time before new price stocks are available in the market", Nestle said in an emailed media statement. It added that it will pass on the benefits to the customers, wherever lower taxes are applicable.

Goa Abolishes Entry Tax On Vehicles

The state government of Goa will abolish the entry tax which it used to impose on vehicles entering from neighbouring states.

The tax has been discontinued in view of the implementation of GST, read a notification issued by the Goa government on Friday. The public works department of Goa used to collect Rs 200 from four-wheelers and Rs 400 from commercial vehicles for entry into the coastal state.

The entry tax, which was implemented in 2013, had affected vehicles entering from Karnataka and Maharashtra, and was criticised by the respective governments.

Dabur Sees Short-Term Hit On Sales And Profit

Consumer goods major Dabur India Ltd. said that GST will adversely impact sales and profit in the near term due to "destocking at trade channels" and other costs related with the transition to the new tax regime.

"At this point of transition phase, it is difficult to quantify the impact", Dabur said in a stock exchange filing. However, it added that the situation is temporary and positives will come into play in the medium to long run.

GST Council Failed To Deliver: Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Biocon Ltd. Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw expressed discontent on Twitter over GST’s “complex” and multiple tax slabs.

Most Traders In Rajasthan Participate In Strike

A bandh call given by various trade unions against certain provisions in GST evoked mixed response in Rajasthan.

Most of the traders participated in the strike.

Trader association spokesperson Arun Agrawal said the traders were against the "excessive tax slabs" and "complex processes" under the GST regime.

He said the response to the strike was good, and that traders in Jaipur, Udaipur, Alwar, Sikar, Jodhpur, Kota and other districts participated in it.

(Source: PTI)

Will Consumers Pay More Tax Or Less?

GST rates have been determined by the GST Council (a council of state finance ministers and the union finance minister and minister of state for finance).

While the Council decided on four tax slabs (yes, they say one nation, one tax, but it’s not) a few items, such as gold, have been taxed at a separate rate.

For some goods and services, such as soaps, toothpaste, hair oil, SUVs, economy air travel and travel services consumers will pay less tax.

In the case of biscuits, detergents, air conditioners, cement, financial services, branded garments, luxury hotels and telecommunication services, consumers will pay more tax.

For a detailed list of rates read this - Tax Rates Before And After GST

GST Being Rolled Out In A Half-Baked Way: Rahul Gandhi

The Goods and Services Tax system holds great potential but its implementation is being rushed through in a "half-baked way with a self-promotional spectacle", said Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to PTI.

Like demonetisation, GST is being executed by an incompetent and insensitive government without institutional readiness.
Rahul Gandhi, Vice President, Congress

The country deserves a rollout that does not put crores of its citizens, small businesses and traders through tremendous anxiety, he added.

GST Will Create A Win-Win Situation: Adi Godrej

Over the last several months, industry bodies and businesses have been clamoring for a deferral of the implementation date for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. However, Chairman of the Godrej Group Adi Godrej, recently said that those asking for a postponement of GST are mainly tax evaders. In an interview on BloombergQuint’s special series, GST Countdown, Godrej said that the request to defer the date didn’t make any sense.

Evasion of indirect taxes will come down dramatically in my mind. Collections of the government will rise, that is why it will create a win-win situation for the economy, consumer, and manufacturers.
Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group

Read More: GST Countdown: People Keep Complaining; It Doesn’t Make Sense, Says Adi Godrej

Samajwadi Party: Will Attend Because President Is

The Samajwadi Party has decided to attend the event at Central Hall tonight in a bid to avoid controversies, ANI reported.

"We oppose GST, it’s a black law but since President will attend launch, we will go as we do not want to create controversy,” said Naresh Agrawal of Samajwadi Party.

Chanda Kochhar On GST

The Goods and Services Tax is a transformational structural reform which will have multiple benefits – the creation of a national market, enhanced ease of doing business, greater productivity and efficiency, and improved tax compliance. This reform will result in benefits for all participants in the Indian economy, including both businesses and consumers.
Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank

Thumbs-Up From Most Brokerages

Consumer and business owners may be concerned about the new tax system but most brokerages hold a positive outlook.

The tax rates fixed by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will not lead to any flux in equity markets as the new indirect regime will make doing business in India easier, brokerages including Morgan Stanley, Motilal Oswal and Antique broking said.

Read More: GST Rates Get A Thumbs-Up From Most Brokerages

Bihar Chief Minister To Skip Launch

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addressing an International Drug Abuse Day function at CM Secretariat in Patna. (Source: PTI)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addressing an International Drug Abuse Day function at CM Secretariat in Patna. (Source: PTI)

Nitish Kumar, Bihar's chief minister will not attend the launch of the landmark tax reform tonight, ANI reported. State Minister Vijendra Yadav will attend on behalf of the Janata Dal (United) party.

GST Protest: Major Markets In Bhopal Shut

All major markets in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, will remain shut for the day in protest against the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. The banners carried by protesters said that they are against the “inflexibility and complications” that come along with GST.

Hasmukh Adhia Tries To Allay Concerns

Revenue Secretary tried to allay the concerns of traders. “There’s nothing to worry on GST implementation”, Hasmukh Adhia told ANI. Traders don’t need big IT infrastructure, and the government is providing the requisite software for free, he added.

Traders In Ghaziabad Shut Shop To Protest GST

Closed  shops of Textile market in Chennai during the third day of the traders’ protest against the Goods and Services Tax. (Source: PTI)
Closed shops of Textile market in Chennai during the third day of the traders’ protest against the Goods and Services Tax. (Source: PTI)

Traders in Ghaziabad shut their shutters to press for amendments in certain provisions of the GST before the scheduled implementation of the new tax regime.

The Uttar Pradesh Udhyog Vyapar Mandal called for the strike, demanding that the provisions of GST be made more "traders-friendly".

Option of filing GST return must be quarterly. No trader should be prosecuted in case of any error in documentation and only pecuniary fine should be imposed. Also, GST should be fixed at 15 percent only.
Subhash Chabda, State President, UPUVM

Also Read: ‘Plenty Of Hiccups’ Expected As India Rolls Out GST

Apart from Ghaziabad, several unions and business owners accross the country, including those in the national capital New Delhi, have been protesting against the GST rollout. In the states of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan, tens of thousands of textile workers went on strike, while the association that represents sellers of seeds, pesticides and fertilizers protested in the agricultural state of Punjab.

With inputs from PTI

What Is GST?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax, that is, it is a tax levied on the consumption of goods and items, versus a direct tax that is levied on income.

It replaces a plethora of central and state taxes, such as excise duty, service tax, sales tax, with a single tax structure.

While in principle GST is meant to be a single tax, in India it’s actually a dual tax – Central GST and State GST and then there’s Integrated GST on the inter-state supply of goods and services.

Read More: What Is GST? Why Should You Care?

The GST Story

Samajwadi Party Unsure About Attending GST Launch

With just hours to go before the GST launch, the Samajwadi Party (SP) was unsure about whether it would attend the midnight function in Delhi.

Whether we attend the midnight GST launch or not will be known later in the day.
Naresh Agarwal, Senior Leader, Samajwadi Party

The Rajya Sabha MP added categorically that his party opposes GST and would not support it.

Agarwal had yesterday termed GST a "black law" that was "similar to re-establishment of the East India Company in the country". His colleague, senior party leader Rajendra Chaudhary, however, said SP had always been in favour of the tax reform.

The party had supported it in Parliament as well as the Vidhan Sabha, Chaudhary said when contacted.

(Source: PTI)

What's The Fuss About Central Hall?

A view of the Central Hall from the gallery. (Source: Lok Sabha Website) 
A view of the Central Hall from the gallery. (Source: Lok Sabha Website) 

The tax was originally slated to be launched from Vigyan Bhawan - the largest convention centre in the national capital that has hosted majority of the meetings of the GST Council. However, given the importance of the GST launch, the venue was shifted to Central Hall.

This did not sit well with certain opposition parties such as Congress, Trinamool Congress and other left parties.

The last time the historic Central Hall in the parliament was used, was in 1997 on the occasion of the golden jubilee of India's independence.

The Congress, while announcing its decision to skip the launch, said special midnight sessions at the Central Hall of parliament have historically taken place only to celebrate India’s independence.

Also Read: After Trinamool, Congress And Left Parties Boycott Midnight GST Launch

GST Launch: A Star-Studded Event

It will be a starry midnight in the historic Central Hall on June 30 that will have politicians, industrialists and celebrities – from megastar Amitabh Bachchan to industry doyen Ratan Tata – in attendance at the launch of India's most sweeping tax reform, the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The event will be graced by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deva Gowda too have been invited to launch a new taxation system that is set to dramatically re-shape the over $2 trillion economy.

The Congress has, however, decided to boycott the event apparently to protest against hardship being caused to small and medium enterprises and traders. Left and TMC too are boycotting the event.

Read More: GST Launch At Midnight: Here’s The List Of Invitees

India Gets Its Biggest Indirect Tax Reform

At the stroke of midnight on June 30, the Goods and Services Tax will become a reality. After months of hammering out the tax slabs, allotting and revising rates, finalising rules and trying to get the country GST ready, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will initiate the rollout, giving India its biggest indirect tax reform.

Also Read: GST Countdown: The ABC Of Filing, Matching & Dealing With Discrepancies In Return Forms

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