One India, One Tax became a reality on the 1st of July, 2017, when the Goods and Services Tax went into effect. This landmark moment in the history of modern India comes after nearly 20 years of debate and negotiations among states and successive central governments from different parties, members of Parliament and other interested stakeholders.
This is a timeline of this 18-year long epic journey, to honour and recognize all the people and organizations who have contributed to the vision of one tax for a country as vast and diverse as India.
1999: GST proposed by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and economic advisory panel.
2005: Kelkar Committee recommends rolling out GST as suggested by 12th Finance Commission.
2006: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram of UPA government, in his budget speech on 28 Feb, 2006, proposed implementation of GST and its introduction by April 1, 2010. He also proposed the formation of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers to come up with the roadmap for GST implementation.
2009: Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers (EC) releases its First Discussion Paper (FDP) on the GST on Nov 10, 2009, based on discussions with the Central Government. This FDP included the features of the proposed Goods and Services Tax, and served as the basis for discussions between the states and Central Govt.
2014: The One Hundred and Twenty Second Amendment Bill introduced in the 16th Lok Sabha on 19th Dec, 2014 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
2015: The 122nd Amendment Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on May 6, 2015. Bill referred to the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on GST Bill on May 14, 2015, and report submitted by the Select Committee on May 14, 2015.
2016: GST Bill passed by Rajya Sabha on Aug 3, 2016, and the Lok Sabha passed the amended version of the bill on Aug 6, 2016. On Aug 12, 2016, Assam became the first state to ratify the constitutional amendment, followed by 19 other states till Sept 8, 2017. The One Hundred and Twenty Second Amendment Bill received President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent on 8 September 2016. Meghalaya, Punjab and Tripura ratified the amendment later in the same month. At its meeting on 12th Sept, Union Cabinet approves creation and set up of GST Council as per Article 279A of the amendment. The first GST Council Meeting held on Sept 22, 2016 in New Delhi.
2017: GST Council announces rates for 98 categories at their meeting on May 18, 2017. Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh ratify 122nd amendment. Revised rates for certain goods announced on June 3 and 11 meetings. Tamil Nadu ratifies amendment on June 19, 2017. GST goes into effect in India on July 1, 2017.