Journey of reforms to transform lives of 140 crore Indians will continue: PM Modi

New Delhi:Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses to media before the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Monday June 24,2024.(Photo:IANS/Qamar Sibtain)

New Delhi:Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses to media before the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Monday June 24,2024.(Photo:IANS/Qamar Sibtain)

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that the BJP-led NDA government remains committed to continuing the journey of reforms to transform people's lives.

"For us, reforms are a means to improve the lives of 140 crore Indians. After the introduction of GST, goods for household use have become much cheaper. This has resulted in significant savings for the poor and common man. We are committed to continuing this journey of reforms to transform people's lives," PM Modi posted on X citing the data released by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also highlighted the CBIC data, saying that the majority of household items, including flour, cosmetics, television, refrigerator, etc., have become cheaper after the implementation of GST.

Last month, the Finance Minister detailed how the GST, an idea first mooted by the government led by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has benefitted people through its pro-poor approach.

She also mentioned that the UPA government was unable to achieve political consensus on GST and it was under the leadership of PM Modi that the necessary consensus was "carefully built" and GST Acts were passed by the Parliament in 2016.

"GST lowered taxes on many essential items compared to pre-GST rates. Common items like hair oil and soaps saw tax cuts from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. Electrical are appliances taxed at 12 per cent against 31.5 per cent before. Movie tickets are taxed lower, too. Further tax rate rationalisation has been done since 2017. Rge National Anti-profiteering Authority ensured that companies passed the benefits to the consumers," the Finance Minister said in a long post on X on May 6.

"Reflecting a pro-poor approach, the effective weighted average GST rate has consistently fallen since 2017. The Revenue Neutral Rate was suggested to be 15.3 per cent but was lower at 14.4 per cent in 2017, and it came down to 11.6 per cent in 2019," Sitharaman said.

On Saturday, the GST Council meeting chaired by the Finance Minister decided to exempt services provided by Indian Railways from GST besides also exempting GST on charges for students' hostels located outside educational institutions - a move welcomed by the student community all over the country.