Pres­i­dent praises Modi for bring­ing big­gest tax re­form

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - NATION - Saub­hadra Chat­terji n let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Pranab Mukher­jee praised Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Thurs­day for bring­ing in the Goods and Ser­vices Tax, In­dia’s big­gest tax re­form since In­de­pen­dence, and called the re­forms ini­ti­ated by the NDA gov­ern­ment as “ef­fec­tive mech­a­nisms”.

“I thank Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley for mak­ing GST pos­si­ble. It shows that we want to take ev­ery­one along. It shows that we may be late but we are steady,” the Pres­i­dent said at Kolkata’s In­dian Sta­tis­ti­cal In­sti­tute, which is cel­e­brat­ing the 125th an­niver­sary of em­i­nent statis­ti­cian PC Ma­ha­lanobis.

“From tomorrow, when the PM will start a new sys­tem and the whole coun­try will come un­der the GST,” Mukher­jee, who has less than a month left to his ten­ure, said.

He was ini­tially sched­uled to re­turn on Satur­day but will now be back on Fri­day as he wants to be in the Cap­i­tal when the GST is rolled out. The Pres­i­dent also re­called how he tried to bring the GST when he was the fi­nance min­is­ter but “failed to do so”.

Even as the NDA has nom­i­nated Ram Nath Kovind as its nom­i­nee for the up­com­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Modi and Mukher­jee has re­mained as cor­dial. Modi and his min­is­ters will meet Mukher­jee over a ban­quet on July 24, a day be­fore the Pres­i­dent’s term gets over.

Sources in the Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van told the Hin­dus­tan Times that Modi will also re­lease a book on Mukher­jee’s term in Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van on July 4, as a mark of re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion for the out­go­ing Pres­i­dent.

Mukher­jee also ap­pre­ci­ated the early pre­sen­ta­tion of the gen­eral bud­get — in­tro­duced from this year by the Modi gov­ern­ment.

He men­tioned Make in In­dia, Startup In­dia, Clean In­dia as “ef­fec­tive mech­a­nisms” and an­other phase of re­forms, say­ing “dog­ma­tism and rigid­ity can’t push In­dia ahead.”

He also men­tioned how the peo­ple of In­dia voted to end the “frag­ile coali­tion” gov­ern­ment, in an ap­par­ent in­di­ca­tion of the Modi gov­ern­ment which swept to power in 2014.

PM TO HOST DIN­NER FOR PRANAB

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi will throw a ban­quet for Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee in July be­fore the lat­ter’s term gets over.

Sources in the Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van told HT that Modi him­self wanted to in­vite Pres­i­dent Mukher­jee, with whom he has ex­cel­lent equa­tions, for a din­ner.

“The din­ner may be hosted in the third week of July,” said a source.

Even as the NDA has nom­i­nated Ram Nath Kovind as its nom­i­nee for the Pres­i­den­tial poll, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Modi and Mukher­jee has re­mained as cor­dial as ever.

Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee talks with em­i­nent sci­en­tist Bikash Sinha dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of The Uni­fied Aca­demic Cam­pus of Bose In­sti­tute at Salt City the out­skirts of Kolkata on Thurs­day. n PTI PHOTO

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