GST Rollout: Congress boycotted the launch at the last minute, claims BJP

Under GST, Mukherjee said the tax incidence will be transparent, enabling full removal of tax burden on exports and full incidence of domestic taxes on imports.

The goods and services tax (GST) replaces more than a dozen levies imposed nationally and by the 29 states.

Businesses are nervous about GST, which sets out four different rates of between five and 28 per cent instead of the one originally envisioned.

At the stroke of midnight when the Narendra Modi government launched goods and services tax (GST), a new tax subsumed multiple indirect taxes, throwing into doubt its impact on various industries. "I had always believed that GST was a matter of time and was happy when it was enacted and I gave assent to the Constitution amendment past year", he said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India needed to evolve a mindset where paying taxes was the "new normal" in order to move from a developing nation to a developed one.

Textile traders and other sectors went on strike ahead of the launch and many businesses say they are unclear about what to charge.

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PM Narendra Modi quoted Albert Einstein, saying: "He had once said that if there is one thing that is most hard to understand, it is income tax". Stating that some people are anxious because earlier they could hide information on the amount of sale, Jaitley said that under GST, this is not possible and those trying to play mischief will be detected easily.

Projecting it as a case of Cooperative Federalism, he said GST shows India can rise above narrow politics. (Shirish Shete/PTI) NCP leaders Praful Patel and Tariq Anwar at the special ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament for the launch of 'Goods and Services Tax (GST)', in New Delhi. Refrigerators and air conditioners were among items likely to cost much more; they'll be taxed at the top rate of 28 percent while the highest tax applied in any of India's states now is 23 percent.

"I don't think that there was a single time we thought we will miss the deadline", Adhia said.

President Pranab Mukherjee said the new indirect tax system was a "disruptive change", and any initial problems in its implementation would be overcome. Certain goods such as fresh meat, eggs, milk, among others, will not be taxed, according to a list compiled by the Economic Times newspaper.

Here are a few commonly utilized goods and services which have been exempted from the GST regime. The NYT article, 'After Killing Currency, Modi Takes a Leap With India's Biggest-Ever Tax Overhaul', points out that India under the leadership of Modi has begun to lag in recent years and that he has been increasingly criticised by the opposition for falling short of election promises of recharging the economy.

  • Sonia Alvarado