Former Prime Min­is­ter Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee

Former Prime Min­is­ter Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee

Business Sphere - - CONTENTS - By Our Cor­re­spon­dent

Af­ter 17 tu­mul­tuous years, a na­tion­wide Goods and Ser­vices Tax ( GST) was rolled out from mid­night of June 30, over­haul­ing In­dia's con­vo­luted in­di­rect tax­a­tion sys­tem and uni­fy­ing the USD 2 tril­lion econ­omy with 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple into a sin­gle mar­ket. GST, which will re­place more than a dozen cen­tral and state levies like fac­tory-gate, ex­cise duty, ser­vice tax and lo­cal sales tax or VAT, is In­dia's big­gest tax re­form in the 70 years of in­de­pen­dence and will help mod­ernise Asia's third largest econ­omy.

Here is a look at the time­lines that shaped 'one na­tion, one tax' sys­tem:

• Fe­bru­ary 1986: Fi­nance Min­is­ter Vish­wanath Pratap Singh pro­poses a ma­jor over­haul of the ex­cise tax­a­tion struc­ture in the bud­get for 1986-87.

• 2000: Prime Min­is­ter Atal Bi­hari Va­jpyee in­tro­duces the con­cept, sets up a com­mit­tee headed by the then West Ben­gal Fi­nance Min­is­ter Asim Das­gupta to de­sign a GST model.

• 2003: The Va­j­payee gov­ern­ment forms a task force un­der Vi­jay Kelkar to rec­om­mend tax re­forms.

• 2004: Vi­jay Kelkar, then ad­vi­sor to the Fi­nance Min­istry, rec­om­mends GST to re­place the ex­ist­ing tax regime.

• Fe­bru­ary 28, 2006: GST ap­pears in the Bud­get speech for the first time; Fi­nance Min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram sets an am­bi­tious April 1, 2010 as dead­line for GST im­ple­men­ta­tion. He says the Em­pow­ered Com­mit­tee of fi­nance min­is­ters will pre­pare a road map for GST.

• 2008: Em­pow­ered Com­mit­tee of State Fi­nance Min­is­ters con­sti­tuted.

• April 30, 2008: The Em­pow­ered Com­mit­tee sub­mits a re­port ti­tled 'A Model and Roadmap Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) in In­dia' to the gov­ern­ment

• Novem­ber 10, 2009: Em­pow­ered Com­mit­tee sub­mits a dis­cus­sion paper in the pub­lic do­main on GST wel­com­ing de­bate.

• 2009: Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pranab Mukher­jee an­nounces ba­sic struc­ture of GST as de­signed by Das­gupta com­mit­tee; re­tains 2010 dead­line.

• BJP op­poses GST ba­sic struc­ture.

• Fe­bru­ary 2010: Fi­nance Min­istry starts mis­sion-mode com­put­er­i­sa­tion of com­mer­cial taxes in states, to lay the foun­da­tion for GST roll­out.

• Pranab Mukher­jee de­fers GST to

April 1, 2011. • March 22, 2011: UPA-II ta­bles 115th Con­sti­tu­tion Amend­ment Bill in the Lok Sabha for bring­ing GST.

• March 29, 2011: GST Bill re­ferred to Par­lia­men­tary Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Fi­nance led by

Yash­want Sinha.

• Asim Das­gupta re­signs, re­placed by the then Ker­ala Fi­nance Min­is­ter KM Mani.

• Novem­ber 2012: Fi­nance Min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram holds meet­ings with state fi­nance min­is­ters; de­cides to re­solve all is­sues by De­cem­ber 31, 2012 for GST roll­out.

• Fe­bru­ary 2013: Declar­ing UPA gov­ern­ment's re­solve to in­tro­duc­ing GST, Chi­dambaram in his Bud­get speech makes pro­vi­sion for Rs 9,000 crore to com­pen­sate states for losses in­curred be­cause of GST.

• Au­gust 2013: Par­lia­men­tary stand­ing com­mit­tee sub­mits re­port to Par­lia­ment sug­gest­ing im­prove­ments on GST. GST Bill gets ready for in­tro­duc­tion in Par­lia­ment.

• Oc­to­ber 2013: Gu­jarat Chief Min­is­ter Narne­dra Modi op­poses GST Bill say­ing state would in­cur losses worth Rs 14,000 crore every year due to GST.

• 2014: GST Bill cleared by Stand­ing Com­mit­tee lapses as Lok Sabha dis­solves; BJP-led NDA gov­ern­ment comes to power.

• De­cem­ber 18, 2014: Cab­i­net ap­proves 122nd Con­sti­tu­tion Amend­ment Bill to GST.

• De­cem­ber 19, 2014: Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley in­tro­duces the Con­sti­tu­tion (122nd) Amend­ment Bill in the Lok Sabha; Congress ob­jects.

• Fe­bru­ary 2015: Jait­ley sets April 1,

2016 as dead­line for GST roll­out.

• May 6, 2015: Lok Sabha passes GST Con­sti­tu­tional Amend­ment Bill.

• May 12, 2015: The Amend­ment

Bill pre­sented in the Ra­jya Sabha.

• Congress de­mands the Bill be sent to Se­lect Com­mit­tee of Ra­jya Sabha; de­mands cap­ping GST rate at 18 per cent.

• May 14, 2015: The GST Bill for­warded to joint com­mit­tee of Ra­jya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

• Au­gust 2015: Gov­ern­ment fails to win the sup­port of Op­po­si­tion to pass the bill in the Ra­jya Sabha where it lacks suf­fi­cient num­ber. • July 2016: Cen­tre op­poses cap­ping GST rate at 18%; gets states around.

• Au­gust 2016: Congress, BJP agree to pass the Con­sti­tu­tion Amend­ment Bill.

• Au­gust 3, 2016: Ra­jya Sabha passes the Con­sti­tu­tion Amend­ment Bill by two-thirds ma­jor­ity.

• Septem­ber 2, 2016: 16 states rat­ify GST Bill; Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee gives as­sent to the Bill.

• Septem­ber 12: Union Cab­i­net

clears for­ma­tion of GST Coun­cil

• Septem­ber 22-23: Coun­cil meets

for first time.

• Novem­ber 3: GST Coun­cil agrees on four slab tax struc­ture of 5, 12, 18 and 28% along with an additional cess on lux­ury and sin goods.

• Jan­uary 16, 2017: Jait­ley an­nounces July 1 as GST roll­out dead­line. Cen­tre, states agree on con­tentious is­sue of dual con­trol and tax­ing rights on goods at high sea.

• Fe­bru­ary 18: GST Coun­cil fi­nalises draft com­pen­sa­tion bill pro­vid­ing to make good any rev­enue loss to states in first five years of GST roll­out.

• March 4: GST Coun­cil ap­proves

CGST and In­te­grated-GST bills.

• March 20: Cab­i­net ap­proved CGST, IGST and UT GST and Com­pen­sa­tion bills.

• March 27: Jait­ley ta­bles CGST, IGST, UT GST and Com­pen­sa­tion bills in Par­lia­ment. Lok Sabha and Ra­jya Sabha pass all the four key GST Bills - Cen­tral GST (CGST), In­te­grated GST (IGST), State GST (SGST) and Union Ter­ri­tory GST (UTGST).

• May 18: GST Coun­cil fits over 1,200 goods in one of the four tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28%. Over 80% of goods of mass con­sump­tion ei­ther ex­empted or taxed un­der 5% slab.

• GST Coun­cil fixes cess on lux­ury and sin goods to cre­ate kitty for com­pen­sat­ing states. • May 19: GST Coun­cil de­cides on 5, 12, 18 and 28% as ser­vice tax slabs.

• Jun 21: All states ex­cept Jammu

and Kash­mir pass SGST law.

• June 28: Ma­mata Baner­jee an­nounces her party's de­ci­sion to skip mid­night launch of GST.

• June 29: Congress, Left too de­cide

to skip launch.

• June 30 Mid­night: GST set to roll

out.

P Chi­dambaram

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