Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed the Goods and Services Tax days before the first anniversary of its implementation, and said that the new system was a “victory of integrity” and “a celebration of honesty”.
Speaking on his Mann Ki Baat radio show, Modi claimed that the tax structure, which would have taken “five to seven years” in a large country like India, had taken just a year to “create a space for itself” and achieve stability. “Information technology has replaced the inspector” because of the GST, he said.
The prime minister also praised the cricket team of Afghanistan, which played its first Test match in Bengaluru against India. He also spoke about International Yoga Day held on June 21, and said the event “presented the rarest of sights” as “the whole world appeared as one entity”.
Modi paid tribute to Hindutva icon Syama Prasad Mookerjee a day after his 65th death anniversary. He praised Mookerjee’s role as independent India’s first industries minister and his push for indigenous defence production. Referring to West Bengal, Modi also claimed that “a part of Bengal” is still part of India because of Mookerjee’s “understanding, prudence and activism”.
Mookerjee was the founder of the Jana Sangh, a precursor to the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was known to have supported India’s partition right from 1944, and in May 1947, wrote to Viceroy Louis Mountbatten asking for Bengal to be partitioned even if India remained united. By 1951, however, he wanted the partition of Bengal to be annulled, but by then East Bengal was a part of Pakistan.