Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday introduced four bills on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the lower house of parliament, paving the way for the government to launch the landmark tax reform.
The bills introduced are the Central GST Bill, the Integrated GST Bill, the Union Territory GST Bill, and the GST (Compensation to States) Bill.
Here is a look into how the GST has been conceptualised, introduced and discussed in the parliament for its implementation and enforcement
Timeline of Goods and Services Tax
2000 - GST discussions begin and the Empowered Committee for GST is set up
The Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, opens the discussion on the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He appoints Asim Dasgupta, the Finance Minister of West Bengal, to head the Empowered Committee, which will focus on creating a GST model and implement the required logistics and technology.
The Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, sets April 1, 2010 as the deadline for implementing the GST in India. Since the proposed GST would combine service tax and excise tax, he increases the service tax from 10 percent to 12 percent
2004 - The need for a comprehensive GST is highlighted
The Kelkar Task Force, a tax reform commission chaired by Vijay L. Kelkar, identifies the problems in the current tax structure.
FEB 2006 - The first deadline for implementing GST is set
The Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, sets April 1, 2010 as the deadline for implementing the GST in India.
Nov 2009 - The GST discussion paper is published online
The Empowered Committee, headed by Asim Dasgupta, publishes the first discussion paper on GST online to encourage discussions with stakeholders
FEB 2010 - Project launched to computerize commercial taxes
The Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, postpones the GST deadline to April 1, 2011. The government sets up a Mission-mode Project to computerize commercial taxes that will serve as the foundation for GST. The budget for this project is set at 1,133 crores.
Congress introduces the GST bill in Lok Sabha
The constitution amendment bill to implement GST is presented by Congress, the ruling party. The opposition party protests. The bill is passed on to the Standing Committee which will verify and examine the bill.
Finance Ministers set deadline to resolve problems related to the transition to GST
The State Finance Ministers and Union Finance Ministers announce that they will resolve problems that may arise during the transition to GST by December 31, 2012.
Budget committee provides 9,000-crore CST compensation to make way for the GST
Since GST is expected to replace CST, the finance minister announces that a 9,000-crore compensation will be provided to the states in order to make up for the CST revenue loss.
Standing committee suggests amendments to the bill
After examining the GST bill, the standing committee submits its findings to the Parliament. The parliamentary panel approves the bill while recommending changes to the provision of tax structure and dispute resolution mechanism. The bill later lapses due to the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
The GST bill was reintroduced to the Lok Sabha
BJP, the ruling party's Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, introduces GST in the Parliament. Congress, the opposing party, insists that the bill should be sent for review by the Standing Committee again.
Lok Sabha passes the GST bill
The Lok Sabha passes the GST amendment bill with 352 votes.
The GST bill is introduced in Rajya Sabha
The GST Bill is passed in Rajya Sabha
16 States ratify the GST bill
The GST bill gets the presidential assent
The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, gives his formal agreement to the GST constitutional amendment bill.
Madhya Pradesh to serve as the country's supply hub
The Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, announces that centrally-located Madhya Pradesh will be the distribution centre for the country, in order to facilitate free flow of goods and services throughout India.
Four Tier GST Tax Structure Finalized
The GST council finalized the four tier tax structure. The new structure contains: a lower rate (5%), two standard rates (12% and 18%) and a higher rate (28%). An additional cess will be applied on demerit goods such as tobacco, pan, aerated drinks, etc.
GST portal becomes live
The registration schedule for existing tax payers has been released and the registration windows for 8 states and union territories have opened.