The clock is now ticking down to Goods and Services Tax GST roll-out but the biggest tax reform in the country did not come easy. It took 17 long years for the GST to take shape. 

GST will replace an array of central and state levies with a national sales tax, thereby creating a single market and making it easier to do business in the country. 

Here’s the timeline of the long journey to GST roll-out:


  • The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government starts discussion on GST by setting up a committee headed by former West Bengal finance minister Asim Dasgupta. 
  • The committee was tasked with designing the GST model and overseeing the IT back-end preparedness for its roll-out.


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


  • Kelkar committee recommended rolling out GST as suggested by the 12th Finance Commission


  • Union finance minister P. Chidambaram announces plan for a GST in his budget speech, and proposed to introduce it by April, 2010. 
  • The Empowered Committee (EC) of state finance ministers was tasked with chalking out a road map for its implementation.


  • The Empowered Committee releases its First Discussion Paper (FDP) on GST. This spells out the features of the proposed GST and has formed the basis for discussion between the centre and the states so far.


  • The finance ministry starts mission-mode computerisation of commercial taxes in states, to lay the foundation for GST roll-out.


  • The UPA government tables a Constitution Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha in 2011 and refers it to the standing committee on Finance for scrutiny 


  • Chidambaram says government has set aside Rs 9000 crore to compensate states for losses incurred because of GST. 
  • Parliamentary standing committee submits its report on GST. 
  • GST Bill gets ready for introduction in Parliament.
  • In October 2013, then Gujarat CM Narnedra Modi opposes GST Bill, claiming GST will result in state incurring losses worth Rs 14,000 crore every year 


  • The GST Bill – approved by the standing committee for reintroduction – lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha. 
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the GST Bill in the Lok Sabha. Congress objects. 


  • Jaitley, in his budget speech, sets April 1, 2016 as deadline for GST implementation. Lok Sabha passes GST Constitutional Amendment Bill paving way for GST.
  • Congress demands the Bill be sent to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. The NDA government fails to get it passed in Rajya Sabha 


  • Centre and states agree to pass the Constitutional Amendment Bill without a cap on the rates.  18 states ratify GST bill within next 15-20 days and President Pranab Mukhejee gives his assent to it. Mukherjee forms GST Council to frame separate GST Bills.


  • January 2017 – Jaitley announces July 1, 2017 as deadline to implement GST. 
  • March 2017 – Four Key GST Bills — Central GST (CGST), Integrated GST (IGST), State GST (SGST) and Union Territory GST (UTGST) — passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
  • May 2017 – GST Council unveils a multi-tiered service tax structure to distribute services under four slabs: 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. 80% of goods of mass consumption either exempted or taxed under 5% slab.
  • June 28, 2017 – Mamata Banerjee announces her party’s decision to skip midnight launch of GST during a joint parliamentary session.
  • June 29, 2017 – Congress too decides to skip launch.
  • June 30, 2017 Midnight – GST all set for rollout.

(All images sourced from PTI)