The Central Government in the last three General Budgets viz 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 has gradually abolished various cesses on goods and services in order to prepare the ground for smooth roll- out of Goods and Service Tax (GST) from 1st July, 2017. It took various steps by abolishing various cesses so that it is easier to fit in various goods and services in different tax slabs for GST. The govt. in its General Budget 2015-16 had abolished Education Cess, including Secondary and Higher Education Cess on taxable services, and exempted Education Cess on excisable goods as well as Secondary and Higher Education Cess on excisable goods. In the General Budget 2016-17, it abolished cess on cement, strawboard, three cesses including cess on Iron Ore Mines, Manganese Ore Mines and Chrome Ore Mines by amending Labour Welfare Cess Act, 1976, Tobacco cess by amending the Tobacco Cess Act 1975, and Cine Workers Welfare Cess by amending the Cine Workers’ Welfare Cess Act 1981 among others.
However, in its General Budget 2017-18, Research and Development cess by amending the Research and Development Cess Act was abolished. Through Taxation Laws Amendment Act 2017, the following cesses are abolished. However, the date of the implementation will coincide with the date of the GST roll-out including the Rubber Act 1947 – Cess on Rubber, Industries (Development and Regulation) Act 1951 – Cess on Automobile, Tea Act 1953 – Cess on Tea, Coal Mines (Conservation and Development) Act, 1974 – Cess on Coal amongst others.