Preliminary text of Finance Minister Shri Arun jaitley`s address at the launch of Goods & Service Tax from Central Hall of Parliament
His Excellency, the President Honourable Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the Vice President Honourable Shri Hamid Ansari ji, The Prime Minister Honourable Shri Narendra Modi ji, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha Honourable Smt. Sumitra Mahajan ji, Our Former Prime Minister and the senior leader of the country Sri HD Deve Gowda ji, everyone from the Members of the Council of the Ministers, the Ministers of the State Governments, Officials, Members of the Parliament and other dignitaries assembled on this historic occasion, we have assembled today for an important moment in the journey of a great Nation. We are in the process of making history with the launch of Goods and Services Tax. At the midnight hour We will be launching one of India’s biggest and most ambitious Tax and Economic Reform in history. The GST maybe a destination tax, but for India it will begin all together a new journey. Its a journey where India will awake to limitless possibilities, to expand its economic Horizons, and loftier political visions. The old India was economically fragmented, the ‘New India’ will create One Tax, One Market and for One Nation.
It will be an India where the Centre and the States work together cooperatively and harmoniously towards the common goal of shared prosperity. It will be an India which will write a new destiny. The GST is an important achievement for the whole country. The unanimity of the support for the Constitution Amendment at the consensus-based work of GST Council highlights that India can rise above narrow politics and speak in one voice for larger national interest. The quality and the maturity of the debate leading to the Constitution Amendment and in the GST Council underscores this point that India can collectively think and act with maturity for a broader purpose.
The constitution says that India is a Union of States. The Union is strong if both the States and Centre are strong. That is the real meaning of Cooperative Federalism. While in enacting the GST neither the centre nor the states give up their Sovereignty. They have pooled their sovereignty to make joint decisions for indirect taxation.
In a large and complex Federal System of Multi-Party Democracy With the Centre, 29 States, 2 Union Territories with legislatures, and wide divergent interest we have implemented a Constitution Amendment and brought in a large tax reform, displaying a high point of Indian politics. We have done this at a time when the world is facing slow growth, Isolationism and lack of structural reforms. With the GST India has shown that these forces can be overcome through the display of inclusion, openness and boldness. For this all Member of Parliament, The State Governments, all political parties, State Finance Ministers and the dedicated team of Officers of Centre and State Governments, Who contributed to this, deserve to be appreciated and thanked.