GST rollout: India is all set to rollout the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST) during a special joint midnight session of Parliament today. For 17 years, the idea of ‘One Nation, One Tax’ witnessed several delays, heated politics and more. But the time of GST has now arrived. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government would certainly claim the credit for giving a single tax regime to the country. However, the GST could not have been possible without the ideas put on board by several opposition parties and their leaders. GST is truly a law of unified India and all stakeholders, including the people, deserve the credit for this law, which is touted to be the biggest reform measure undertaken by the country since the liberalisation of Indian economy in the early 1990s.
Here is the complete timeline of the journey of GST since 2000:
2000: On the advice by economic advisory panel of three former RBI Governors IS Patel, Bimal Jalan and C Rangarajan, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee sets up a committee headed by then finance minister of West Bengal Asim Dasgupta to design a GST model. The committee is also tasked with the responsibility of putting in place the back-end technology and logistics for implementing a uniform taxation regime in India.
2003: Vajpayee forms a task force under Vijay Kelkar to recommend tax reforms.
2005: Kelkar committee recommends rolling out of GST as suggested by 12th Finance Commission.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram talks about GST in Union Budget.
2006: Chidambaram sets April 1, 2010 as deadline for GST implementation
2009: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, now President, announces basic structure of GST as designed by Dasgupta committee. Mukherjee retains 2010 deadline.
BJP opposes GST basic structure
2010: Finance Ministry starts mission-mode computerisation of commercial taxes in states, to lay the foundation for GST rollout.
Dasgupta says in an interview that his committee has completed 80% of GST work by then.
2011: UPA tables Constitution Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha for GST.
GST Bill sent to Parliamentary Standing Committee led by Yashwant Sinha.
Asim Dasgupta resigns, replaced Sushil Kumar Modi of Bihar and later by then Kerala Finance Minister KM Mani.
2012: Chidambaram holds meetings with state finance ministers. Sets December 31, 2012 as deadline for GST rollout.
2013: In Budget speech, Chidambaram says government has set aside Rs 9000 crore to compensate states for losses incurred because of GST.
Parliamentary Standing Committee submits its report on GST.
GST Bill gets ready for introduction in Parliament.
In October 2013, then Gujarat CM Narnedra Modi opposes GST Bill. He claims the state would incur losses worth Rs 14,000 cr every year due to GST.
2014: GST Bill cleared by Standing Committee lapses as new government comes to power.
February 2015: Jaitley sets April 1, 2016 deadline for GST rollout.
May 2015: Lok Sabha passes GST Constitutional Amendment Bill.
Congress demands the Bill be sent to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.
August 2016: Congress, BJP agree to pass the Constitution Amendment Bill.
September 2016: 18 states ratify GST Bill within 15-20 days. President Pranab Mukherjee gives assent to the Bill. Mukherjee forms GST Council to frame separate GST Bills.
January 2017: Jaitley announces July 1, 2017 as GST rollout deadline.
March 2017: Four Key GST Bills — Central GST (CGST), Integrated GST (IGST), State GST (SGST) and Union Territory GST (UTGST) — passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
May 2017: GST Council unveils four slab-rates for GST regimes. rates fixed at 5, 12, 18 and 28%. Over 80% of goods of mass consumption either exempted or taxed under 5% slab.
June 28, 2017: Mamata Banerjee announces her party’s decision to skip midnight launch of GST during a joint parliamentary session.
June 29, 2017: Congress, Left too decide to skip launch.
June 30, 2017 Midnight: GST all set for rollout.