GST is being introduced in the country after a 13 year long
journey since it was first discussed in the report of the Kelkar Task
Force on indirect taxes. A brief chronology outlining the major
milestones on the proposal for introduction of GST in India is as
a. In 2003, the Kelkar Task Force on indirect tax had suggested a
comprehensive Goods and Services Tax (GST) based on VAT
b. A proposal to introduce a National level Goods and Services Tax
(GST) by April 1, 2010 was first mooted in the Budget Speech for
the financial year 2006-07.
c. Since the proposal involved reform/ restructuring of not only
indirect taxes levied by the Centre but also the States, the
responsibility of preparing a Design and Road Map for the
implementation of GST was assigned to the Empowered
Committee of State Finance Ministers (EC).
d. Based on inputs from Govt of India and States, the EC released its
First Discussion Paper on Goods and Services Tax in India in
e. In order to take the GST related work further, a Joint Working
Group consisting of officers from Central as well as State
Government was constituted in September, 2009.
f. In order to amend the Constitution to enable introduction of GST,
the Constitution (115th Amendment) Bill was introduced in the
Lok Sabha in March 2011. As per the prescribed procedure, the
Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance of the
Parliament for examination and report.
g. Meanwhile, in pursuance of the decision taken in a meeting
between the Union Finance Minister and the Empowered
Committee of State Finance Ministers on 8th November, 2012, a
‘Committee on GST Design’, consisting of the officials of the Government of India, State Governments and the Empowered
Committee was constituted.
h. This Committee did a detailed discussion on GST design
including the Constitution (115th) Amendment Bill and submitted
its report in January, 2013. Based on this Report, the EC
recommended certain changes in the Constitution Amendment
Bill in their meeting at Bhubaneswar in January 2013.
i. The Empowered Committee in the Bhubaneswar meeting also
decided to constitute three committees of officers to discuss and
report on various aspects of GST as follows:-
(a) Committee on Place of Supply Rules and Revenue Neutral
(b) Committee on dual control, threshold and exemptions;
(c) Committee on IGST and GST on imports.
j. The Parliamentary Standing Committee submitted its Report in
August, 2013 to the Lok Sabha. The recommendations of the
Empowered Committee and the recommendations of the
Parliamentary Standing Committee were examined in the
Ministry in consultation with the Legislative Department. Most of
the recommendations made by the Empowered Committee and
the Parliamentary Standing Committee were accepted and the
draft Amendment Bill was suitably revised.
k. The final draft Constitutional Amendment Bill incorporating the
above stated changes were sent to the Empowered Committee for
consideration in September 2013.
l. The EC once again made certain recommendations on the Bill
after its meeting in Shillong in November 2013. Certain
recommendations of the Empowered Committee were
incorporated in the draft Constitution (115th Amendment) Bill.
The revised draft was sent for consideration of the Empowered
Committee in March, 2014.
m. The 115th Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2011, for the
introduction of GST introduced in the Lok Sabha in March 2011
lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
n. In June 2014, the draft Constitution Amendment Bill was sent to
the Empowered Committee after approval of the new
o. Based on a broad consensus reached with the Empowered
Committee on the contours of the Bill, the Cabinet on 17.12.2014
approved the proposal for introduction of a Bill in the Parliament
for amending the Constitution of India to facilitate the
introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country. The
Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 19.12.2014, and was
passed by the Lok Sabha on 06.05.2015. It was then referred to
the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha, which submitted its report