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The historic Central Hall of Parliament opened for its first midnight ceremony in two decades for the launch of India’s most sweeping tax reform,¬†GST, with country’s top leaders, cinestars and industrialists in attendance. Here are the highlights:

* President Pranab Mukherjee: GST will create a strong incentive for buyers to deal with honest and compliant sellers who pay their dues promptly.

* President Pranab Mukherjee: Introduction of GST is a momentous event for the nation.

* President Pranab Mukherjee: There were apprehensions whether bringing over 1,000 items under the tax bracket would be possible. The council pleasantly surprised all of us by completing the task on time.

* President Pranab Mukherjee: Was always confident that we will bring GST reform in the country.

* PM Modi: The GST is a ‘good and simple tax’ which will end harassment of traders and small businesses while integrating India into one market with one tax rate.

* PM Modi: GST is transparent and fair system that prevents black money and corruption and promotes a new governance culture.

* PM Modi: GST is a catalyst that will remove all imbalances in the economy and market.

* PM Modi: There was confusion due to the taxation system in the country. We are now going to get rid of that.

* PM Modi: From Ganganagar to Etanagar, from Leh to Lakshadeep – One nation, one tax.

* PM Modi: Just like Sardar Vallabhai Patel brought the entire country together. Through GST, we have all managed to come together.

* PM Modi: The best brains of the country made GST possible.

* PM Modi: At midnight, we have all come together to secure the future of our country.

* PM Modi begins his address, says the indirect tax reform is a result of combined efforts of various political parties at different points of time.

* FM Arun Jaitley: We ensured that there was no unnecessary burden on the weaker sections.

* FM Arun Jaitley: New India will create one tax, one nation, one market.