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Is the Government Prepared To Ring in GST at Stroke of June 30 Midnight

Reminiscent of India’s tryst with destiny at the mid-night of August 15, 1947, Parliament’s historic Central Hall will host a function on the intervening night of June 30-July 1 to ring in the nation’s biggest tax reform – GST.

Announcing that the switchover to the good and services tax (GST) will kick in at the stroke of mid-night, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the hour-long function will mirror the contribution made by different political parties and states to the revolutionary new tax regime.

President Pranab Mukherjee will share the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion. Also on dais will be former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda, apart from Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

All Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament have been invited as also chief ministers and state finance ministers, Jaitley said, adding that all the members — past and present — chairmen of the GST Council and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers have been invited.

Besides, additional time has been given in the initial period for filing of the results, thus giving enough time to prepare for the transition, the finance minister said.

On the anti-profiteering clause in the GST law, he said the provision has been made as a deterrent which is not intended to be used unless forced to.

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