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The GST council, chaired by Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers, first met on 22-23 September. Photo:  Hindustan Times
The GST council, chaired by Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers, first met on 22-23 September. Photo: Hindustan Times

GST: 17 years on, historic tax reform moves a step closer to 1 July rollout

Here is a low down on chronology of steps taken by the NDA and UPA governments in their bid to make the GST a reality

New Delhi: India is on the cusp of ushering in a historic tax reform that has been in the works for 17 years. On Wednesday, the goods and services tax (GST) will move a step closer to the 1 July rollout date with the Lok Sabha passing supporting bills. Mint looks at GST’s journey through the years.

2000: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee sets up an empowered committee of state finance ministers to prepare a GST structure.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Photo: Hindustan Times
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Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Photo: Hindustan Times

ALSO READ: All GST bills passed in Lok Sabha for uniform taxation across India

July 2004: A task force chaired by Vijay Kelkar backs GST.

February 2006: Finance minister P. Chidambaram proposes GST, sets a 1 April, 2010 for implementation.

Former finance minister P. Chidambaram. Photo: Hindustan Times
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Former finance minister P. Chidambaram. Photo: Hindustan Times

November 2009: The empowered committee releases its first discussion paper on GST.

December 2009: The 13th finance commission backs GST, calling for no exclusions and a low tax rate.

March 2011: The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government introduces the constitution amendment bill in the Lok Sabha; bill referred to the standing committee for finance.

August 2013: The standing committee submits its recommendations.

ALSO READ: GST: Pooling sovereignty, promoting federalism

September 2013–May 2014: UPA fails to push GST in the face of resistance from states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh; constitutional amendment bill lapses with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.

May 2014: The NDA government revives GST effort after coming to power, promises to pay Central sales tax compensation to states.

December 2014: Revised constitution amendment bill introduced in the Lok Sabha, which passes it in May 2015.

August 2016: Rajya Sabha passes the bill; 50% of state assemblies ratify the bill in August-September.

September 2016: The central government notifies provisions of the constitution amendment bill; the GST council, chaired by the Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers, is constituted; first meeting takes place on 22-23 September.

ALSO READ: GST caps Arun Jaitley’s finest hour in public life

September 2016-March 2017: GST council finalizes 5 laws: the central and state GST bills, the union territory GST bill, the integrated GST bill and the GST (compensation to states) bill over 12 meetings.

27 March 2017: The government introduces the four bills in Lok Sabha for consideration and passage.

29 March 2017: Lok Sabha passes the bills.

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