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GST shows we want to take everyone along: President Mukherjee praises PM Modi

He called the reforms initiated by the NDA government as effective mechanisms.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2017 18:44 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Kolkata, Hindustan Times
GST,President Pranab Mukherjee,Prime Minister Narendra Modi
President Pranab Mukherjee (L) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R).(Mohd Zakir/HT file)

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 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.

Mukherjee’s trip to Kolkata also witnessed rare moments of nostalgia. At the ISI, Mukherjee announced it was his last trip to the city as the country’s first citizen.

“I am happy that in my last visit I am attending this event,” Mukherjee, who served as ISI’s chairperson from 2004 to 2012, said.

At another event, the President said, “We must change and improve but not in isolation, not in groups or castes or communities.”

First Published: Jun 29, 2017 16:43 IST