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GST will end tax terrorism, says PM

Monsoon session of Parliament

New Delhi : Expressing gratitude to all parties for support, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described GST as a “crucial step” towards ending tax terrorism besides reducing corruption and black money and said the new regime of indirect taxation will make consumer the “king”.

He emphasised in Lok Sabha that the passage of the GST Constitution Amendment Bill by Parliament was not a victory of any party or government but was everybody’s victory as it highlighted the success of the democratic ethos of the country.

Intervening in a debate on Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, Modi asserted that the GST will benefit mainly those states which are considered backward and address the problem of imbalanced development.

He acknowledged that manufacturing states will suffer losses but said they will be compensated.

“August 8th marks a crucial step towards freedom from tax terrorism,” the Prime Minister said, while recalling that this was the day in 1942 when Mahatma Gandhi had sounded the bugle of ‘Quit India’ which marked a major step towards the country’s Independence.

“GST can’t be seen as a victory of a party or government. It is the victory for democratic ethos of India and a victory for everyone,” he said, while noting that the measure was being supported by all parties, irrespective of different ideologies.

The Prime Minister said the new indirect taxation regime, which will subsume 7-13 taxes, will help end corruption as traders will be compelled to give proper bills and the consumer will be the “king”.

It will also help reduce the problem of black money and lead to generation of jobs by benefitting the small traders and entrepreneurs, he said.

Noting that the GST bill had been firmed up after thorough “churning of ideas”, Modi “humbly” expressed happiness that it was being passed through an unprecedented consensus of parties.

He said he had held consultations with his predecessor Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the issue.

“Rashtra Niti (national policy) is above ‘Raj Niti’ (politics)….I thank all political parties, as also state governments run by different parties. We are taking such a decision.. we have reached here after churning in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, 29 states, their representatives and 90 parties. We are putting a stamp on the final decision,” Modi said.

Underlining that the development marks the “recognition of One India” and strengthens this concept, he said, “We are aligning ourselves with new taxation regime…. GST is a new ‘moti’ (bead) in this ‘maala’ (necklace).”

He coined the GST in a new manner — ‘Great Step by Team India’, ‘Great Step towards Transformation’, ‘Great Step towards Transparency’.

Responding to Congress’ contention that GST was its idea being implemented by the NDA government, he acknowledged that all political parties and previous governments had contributed to making of the bill.

In this context, he quipped, “janam koi de, lalan palan koi kare. Krishna ko janam kisne diya, bada kisne kiya? (somebody may give birth, but someone else may nurture. Who gave birth to Lord Krishna and who brought him up?)”

At the same time, he said, “we do not have ‘guroor’ (arrogance) that his bill is the perfect one” even though “so many brains have made an effort which will have results”.

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