While people have reservations India launches national tax

Arun Sankar | AFP | Getty Images

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a speech that the new system would eliminate 500 types of taxes in favor of one tax across the country, a catalyst that would remove trade imbalance and promote exports. Talking about the initial trouble that people might have to face, the Prime Minister said even eyes have to adjust for a couple of days when a sight corrective spectacles are worn. GST has sparked protests by traders, while the main opposition Congress Party boycotted the launch ceremony.

Here's a look into what went on inside the session.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that GST will not only bring a transparent and fair system but will also bring an end to corruption and black money.

Some of India's biggest automakers and retailers announced price cuts on Saturday as Asia's third-largest economy switched to a new nationwide sales tax at the stroke of midnight, replacing a host of provincial and national levies.

Ending more than 11 years of hectic argument among the Centre and the states, the GST will implement from July 1 to completely transform the indirect taxation landscape in the country involving both the Central and State levies. Compliance will be a big issue for those conducting business in more than one state, he said.

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President Pranab Mukherjee also termed the launch of Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be historic. It is expected that by doing away with the plethora of taxes and barriers on state borders, GST will accelerate economic growth. We have to solve them with speed. Shampoo and washing powder will be charged at a rate of 28%, and will be expensive under GST. He said, "Today at 12 midnight, we have united in the Central Hall, this is a place where uncountable icons of our country have set foot".

The GST rate will be higher for SUVs (55% to 43%) as compared to smaller cars (30% to 29%).

The NCP, which has stood united with the Opposition on presidential polls by extending support to Meira Kumar, said while it agreed with the Congress' position on Independence functions, it made a decision to attend the midnight meeting as it wanted to continue its support to the legislation - a stand taken at the time of its introduction in Parliament.

The government promises that the transition to a single, nationwide tax on goods and services will streamline business and boost the economy by tearing down barriers between 31 states and union territories. More than economic reform, it is a social reform.

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