GUWAHATI, July 1 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today asserted that the rolling out of the new tax regime in the form of GST would effect sweeping changes in taxation and consequently accelerate the country�s GDP.
Sonowal, who was addressing the 68th CA Day programme organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India at the Pragjyoti-ITA Centre for Performing Arts, Machkhowa, termed the rolling out of the GST a historic occasion for the country for which it was waiting for years.
�The GST marks a paradigm shift in taxation, and it will put an end to tax terrorism. Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we all worked hard for this. This reflects the BJP government�s commitment for the welfare of the common people. This also marks the next step of the Prime Minister�s pledge to fight black money,� he said.
Asserting that the �one nation one tax� regime would streamline the entire taxation process and benefit the masses besides checking corrupt financial practices and tax evasion, Sonowal said it is not just an economic reform but a huge social revamp as well, that would unite society. He added that a region like the North East would gain a lot from the shift.
�The government is prepared to implement it smoothly. Awareness on GST is being spread. It will also ensure enhanced and sustained growth in GDP,� the CM said, adding that Assam would now emerge as the gateway to South East Asia instead of its current status of being the gateway to north-east India.
Among the guests present on the occasion was Union Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar who also addressed the CA fraternity.
Akbar in his speech gave an account of the benefits accruing from the new taxation regime, saying that it would benefit even more a region like the North East.
�All the essential commodities including foodstuff have either been exempted from taxation under GST or kept in the minimum slab of five per cent. This will benefit the masses,� he said, adding that connectivity would also get a boost and the toll gates on highways would now be a thing of memory.
Chairman Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Mahabir Agarwala also spoke, among others. Chartered accountants from all over the region were present along with government officials, members of trade bodies, various organisations, tax payers, etc.