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GST rides on federalism: PM

Modi SCO meet

New Delhi, June 24: A week after the BJP broke off its alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party in Kashmir and faced a group of Chief Ministers from Opposition parties standing in solidarity against the Centre along with the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of the first anniversary of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime as a credit to cooperative federalism. He was delivering his monthly radio broadcast, “Mann ki Baat”, on Sunday.
“If I have to give credit to anyone for the successful implementation of the ‘One Nation, One Tax’ reform, then I credit the States of our nation. The GST is a great example of cooperative federalism, where all States decide to take a unanimous decision in the interest of the nation and then such a huge tax reform could be implemented in the country,” he said.
Terming the GST a “honest tax”, he said various State governments run by parties of differing ideologies had managed to find common ground. “GST is not only the victory of integrity but it is also a celebration of honesty. Earlier, in the case of taxation and allied affairs in the country, there were rampant complaints of inspector raj. In the GST scheme, information technology has replaced the inspector,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi praised Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, whose death anniversary marked as “Balidan Diwas” (day of sacrifice) by the BJP, fell on Saturday. Mookerjee died while incarcerated over protests on the separate status for Kashmir, and one of the main reasons the BJP had held on to the demand of abolition of Article 370 of the Constitution. While Prime Minister Modi did not refer to this aspect of Mookerjee’s political struggle, he spoke at length about the latter’s stamp on India’s first industrial policy, and, significantly, his role in “saving” Bengal.
Remarking that 2019 would mark the century of the Jallianwala Bagh incident, Modi said that “violence and cruelty can never solve a problem and it is peace and non-violence which always wins”. (The Hindu)