Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee launched the new tax early Saturday by pressing a button during a special midnight session in parliament.
“With GST, the dream of ‘One India, Great India’ will come true,” Modi said in a speech.
The single GST – or Goods and Services Tax – is expected to change the cost of most products in India and make it easier to do business. It will replace a complicated mix of 500 types of state and federal tax, Modi said. 
“GST is a simple, transparent system which prevents generation of blackmoney and curbs corruption. The system gives opportunity to honesty and people who do honest business.”
The midnight ceremony was also attended by India’s central bank chief, a former prime minister and major company executives. Several parties including the main opposition Congress Party, however, opted to stay away.
Businesses were ordered in January to adopt or upgrade computer systems in order to …