GST to launch exactly at midnight, June 30

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GST to launch exactly at midnight, June 30

A special midnight session of Parliament is likely to mark the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, its landmark legislation, in the intervening night of June 30-July 1, reports said.

All parliamentarians, chief ministers, states' finance ministers and former chairmen of empowered committee of state finance ministers have been invited for the function which is reminiscent of India's Tryst with Destiny moment seen at the time of the country's independence in 1947.

More than 6.5 million businesses have already signed up for the GST, Mr Jaitley said earlier this week, pointing that that's more than four-fifths of those already registered to pay India's old business taxes.

The GST launch function will be held at the Central Hall of Parliament and MPs, CMs and state Finance Ministers will be in attendance.

Originally, the launch of GST, which has been in works for over a decade, was to be done from Vigyan Bhawan - the largest convention centre in the national capital that has hosted majority of the meetings of the GST Council.

Members of the GST Council have also been invited to attend the session where two short films on the GST will be screened. "GST was passed unanimously by Parliament in 2016". Kerala will pass the law during this week, he said. "We have got FRBM Act and fiscal deficit target, we intend adhering to it", he said.

"In July and August, we have extended the date for filing the monthly returns". Industry and trade will have to prepare themselves. "Nobody had any business to be not ready", he said. Now the readiness will be determined by September 15 when the traders have to file the first return.

"There is still two and a half months to be ready, but if he (business) is still not ready, I am afraid, but he doesn't want to be ready", he said.

GST is being hailed as the most significant economic reform since the BJP government came into power in 2014 and is predicted to add up to 2 percentage points to the GDP growth rate. "The size of the formal economy should also increase". In short term, there could be some challenges.

It is also expected to check tax evasion and in the long run due to a rise in number of the assesses.

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