Modi calls GST ‘good and simple tax’; economic reform to benefit poor

New Delhi: Terming the Goods and Service Tax (GST) a ‘good and simple tax’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said it will put an end to harassment of honest traders and small businesses while integrating country into one market with one tax.

At a gala event to launch the GST at the historic Central Hall of Parliament, the Prime Minister said the new tax is simple and transparent and would end corruption and check black money.

The GST will eliminate 500 types of taxes and there will be one tax from Ganganagar to Itanagar and Leh to Lakshadweep, he said, adding it is a catalyst which will remove trade imbalance and promote exports.

“GST is a simple, transparent system which prevents generation of black money and curbs corruption. The system gives opportunity to honesty and people who do honest business,” he said, terming GST as an economic integrator just like the integration of the nation that Sardar Vallabhai Patel had done after the independence.

Acknowledging that there may be some initial hiccups, the Prime Minister said even an eye takes time to adjust to sight corrective spectacles. He went on to urge people not to pay attention to rumours and not create apprehensions about the new tax.

Modi said that the GST is just not a tax reform but an important economic reform. “The law says that GST stands for Goods and Services Tax but according to me it stands for good and simple tax,” he added.

The tax is good because it will eliminate tax on tax and simple because there will be just one rate and one system for the entire country, he said, adding even a student of 10th standard can use technology to file GST returns.

Modi said GST is an effort of successive political parties and an example of cooperative federalism where centre and states have worked as equals in deciding on the new system and the tax rate.

The GST is a reflection of team India and the Central Hall is the most appropriate place for launch of the new tax regime as Constituent assembly met here and also Jawaharlal Nehru delivered the Independence Day speech, he said.

The new tax regime will benefit poor by reducing cost and saving money by removing barriers like checkposts between states, he said, asking traders to pass on the benefit of reduced taxes to consumers.

Observing the GST Council met for 18 times on Saturday, he said that interestingly there are 18 chapters in Gita, the holy book of Hindus.