Rajeev Mardia
And Associates

GST & it’s History:

The full form of GST is Goods and Services Tax. It was first introduced in the Budget Speech presented on 28th February 2006. It was implemented in order to replace the variety of indirect taxes (like VAT, excise, import and export duty, etc.) that existed before it; so as to make the taxing process easier and less convoluted. The rates are still more or less the same, however, having one tax makes it a lot easier to track the calculation and to curb evasion.

Finally implemented on 1st July 2017 as the Goods and Services Tax Act, the indirect taxation system thus went through a chain of amendments since its inception. It, however, took 17 more years for its implementation. Meanwhile, the bill went through multiple introductions, amendments and rescheduling:

  • 2000 – Committee set up by the PM for drafting Goods and Service Tax law for India.
  • 2004 – A task force reported a need to implement this law and improve the indirect tax system in India.
  • 2006 – Goods and Services Tax introduction scheduled on 1st April 2010 by the Finance Minister of India.
  • 2007 – Decision to phase out Central Sales Tax (CST).
  • Consequently, CST rates were reduced to 3% from 4%.
  • 2008 – GST’s dual structure was finalised by the EC for separate legislation and levy.
  • 2010 – Postponement of GST introduction due to structural and implementation hurdles. A project launched for the computerisation of commercial taxes.
  • 2011 – Introduction of Constitution Amendment Bill for enabling the Goods and Services Tax Law.
  • 2012 – Discussion regarding the tax initiated by the Standing Committee; stalled due to lack of clarity regarding Clause 279B.
  • 2013 – GST’s report presented by the Standing Committee.
  • 2014 – The Finance Minister of India reintroduces the Goods and Services Tax Bill to Parliament.
  • 2015 – The Lok Sabha clears the bill, but it is stalled in the Rajya Sabha.
  • 2016 – Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) went live. The law’s amended model passed in both Houses of Parliament and received a nod from the President of India.
  • 2017 – The Cabinet approves four supplementary bills on GST cleared by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Goods and Services Tax Law was implemented on 1st July 2017.