Mumbai: The launch of the country’s largest tax reform – the Goods and Services Tax (GST), will be a star studded affair with big names, from President Pranab Mukherjee to legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan gracing the occasion with their presence.
GST will be rolled out at the stroke of midnight at the circular Central Hall of Parliament, where a grand programme has been organised. President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be present on the dias.
The Parliament has been decked up with LED lights and refurbished with a better sound system and new carpeting to welcome the country’s new indirect tax regime. The Central Hall will be hosting over 800 guests tonight.
Other set of dignitaries include former Prime Minister H D Deva Gowda, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal, National Conference leader Abdul Rahim, former GST Council chairman Sushil Kumar Modi, and former finance ministers of West Bengal and Kerala - Asim Dasgupta and KK Mani.
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan, veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar and business tycoon Ratan Sinha will also be gracing the occasion. Other notable names include BJP President Amit Shah and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha.
Members of the present central bank family – Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Urjit Patel and his predecessors like Bimal Jalan, YV Reddy and D Subbarao will also attend the event. However, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan is probably not on the list.
CAG Shashi Kant Rai, former CAGs Vinod Rai and TN Chaturvedi, the three Election Commissioners, Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya, E Sreedharan, editor S Gurumurthy, noted scientist M Swaminathan, UPSC Chairman David R Syiemlieh, CBEC chairman Vanaja N Sarna and CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra are also on the list of invitees.
The Congress party, CPI and Trinamool Congress have however decided to skip the launch.