It will be a starry midnight in the historic Central Hall on 30 June 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).
Reminiscent of India's tryst with destiny on the midnight of 15 August 1947, the event will be graced by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Congress has decided to keep away from the special midnight 30 June meeting, with SP, RJD, DMK, CPI, and TMC set to follow.
The BJP was against GST for many years. Now they have taken a U-turn. The launch date needs to be pushed back.Derek O’Brien, TMC
Several sections of society are agitating against GST. People have strong reservations and apprehensions. Why should the govt do things in a hurry? Neither the country nor the govt is adequately prepared.D Raja, CPI
In a final attempt by the BJP to woo parties opting to boycott the launch, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu appealed to the parties to reconsider their decision. He added that the parties were distancing themselves from a process of reformation.
As small traders are slated to get hit by the tax reform, businessmen in various states launched protests against it. Traders in Bhopal called for a bandh in protest against GST and for all major markets in MP's Bhopal to remain shut, while traders in Kanpur stopped the 4102 Jhansi Express train.
Being dubbed as India’s biggest economic reform since independence, GST is set to revamp the $2 trillion economy, with the GDP expected to see a rise by 0.4 to 2 percent.
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Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim