Ahead of the midnight launch of the Goods and Services (GST) tax on 30 June, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA has extended an invitation to former PM Manmohan Singh, reported The Times of India.
According to TOI, Singh will be sharing the podium with another former PM, HD Deve Gowda, and the invite was personally extended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The invite comes despite Singh’s vehement reservations about demonetisation, something he chose to express in the Parliament last year.
...all these measures convince me that the way this scheme has been implemented is a monumental management failure and in fact, it is a case of organised loot and legalised plunder...Dr Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha
Singh, who was responsible for opening up India’s economy during his tenure as Finance Minister in the early ‘90s, opined that the GST is a “game changer”, but there may still be difficulties.
The launch will officially take place in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee.
Jaitley reiterated that the registration process for the GST Network (GSTN) is going on smoothly and the country must prepare itself for short-term challenges on the roll-out.
Over a medium and the long-term time period, being a more efficient system which is prone to checking evasions, revenues will grow, spending capacity of both the Centre and the state governments will increase. Consequently, it should have a positive impact on the GDP.Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister
(With inputs from PTI.)
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam