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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

follows:

a. In 2003, the Kelkar Task Force on indirect tax had suggested a

comprehensive Goods and Services Tax (GST) based on VAT

principle.

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

November, 2009.

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

Rates;

(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

Government.

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

on 22.07.2015.

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