HomeGSTThe History of GST: From Concept to Implementation

The History of GST: From Concept to Implementation


Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a value-added tax system that is levied on the sale of goods and services. GST was introduced in India on July 1, 2017, and it replaced a complex system of multiple indirect taxes like Excise duty, Service Tax, VAT, etc. GST was touted as a game-changer for India’s economy, and it was expected to simplify the tax structure, eliminate tax cascading, and boost economic growth. Let’s take a look at the history of the GST and how it became a reality.

GST is not a new concept. The idea of a value-added tax was first introduced in France in 1954, and it was adopted by other European countries in the following years. In India, the idea of GST was first proposed in 2000 by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. However, it took more than a decade for the proposal to become a reality.

Evolution of GST in India

In India, the process of introducing the GST was long and complex. In 2005, the then Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, set up a task force to design a GST model for India. The task force submitted its report in 2009, which formed the basis of the draft GST legislation.

The draft GST legislation was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2011, but it faced stiff opposition from some states, which led to its referral to a standing committee. The standing committee submitted its report in 2013, and the government made some changes to the draft legislation based on the recommendations.

In 2014, the new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed a GST council to further refine the GST legislation. After several rounds of negotiations, the GST bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in May 2015 and by the Rajya Sabha in August 2016.

Implementation of GST

After the passage of the GST bill, the government set up a GST council to decide on the tax rates, exemptions, and other details. The GST council held several meetings and finalized the tax rates in May 2017.

GST was implemented in India on July 1, 2017. The implementation was not without its challenges, and many businesses faced teething problems in the initial months. However, the government made several changes and revisions to the GST rules to address these issues.

Impact of GST
Since its implementation, the GST has had a significant impact on India’s economy. It has simplified the tax structure, eliminated tax cascading, and made it easier for businesses to comply with tax regulations. The GST has also led to an increase in tax compliance and widened the tax base.

However, GST has also faced criticism from some quarters. Some businesses have complained about the complexity of the tax structure, and there have been calls for a reduction in the tax rates.

GST Structure and Tax Rates
GST is a consumption-based tax, which means that it is levied on the final consumer of goods and services. GST is divided into three categories: CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax), SGST (State Goods and Services Tax), and IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax). CGST and SGST are levied by the central and state governments, respectively, on intra-state transactions, while IGST is levied on inter-state transactions.

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The GST tax rates in India are divided into four slabs: 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. Some goods and services are exempt from GST, and others are taxed at a special rate of 0.25% to 3%. The GST council periodically reviews the tax rates and makes changes as necessary.

Impact of GST on India’s Economy
GST has had a significant impact on India’s economy since its implementation in 2017. Here are some of the key ways in which GST has affected India:

a. Simplification of Tax Structure: Before the introduction of GST, India had a complex tax structure with multiple indirect taxes like excise duty, service tax, VAT, and others. The GST has simplified the tax structure and made it easier for businesses to comply with tax regulations.

b. Reduction of Tax Cascading: Tax cascading refers to the situation where taxes are levied at multiple stages of production, leading to a higher tax burden on the final consumer. GST has eliminated tax cascading by allowing businesses to claim an input tax credit for taxes paid on inputs, which reduces the effective tax rate.

c. Increase in Tax Compliance: GST has led to an increase in tax compliance in India as businesses are required to file regular GST returns and maintain proper documentation. This has helped the government widen the tax base and increase tax revenue.

d. Boost to Logistics and Supply Chain: GST has simplified the movement of goods across states, as businesses no longer need to comply with multiple state-level tax regulations. This has led to a reduction in logistics costs and a boost to the supply chain.

e. Negative Impact on Some Sectors: While the GST has had a positive impact on the overall economy, it has also had a negative impact on some sectors, like the informal sector and the real estate industry. The real estate industry, in particular, has seen a slowdown in sales due to the higher tax rates under the GST.


GST has been a significant reform for India’s economy, and it has led to a simplification of the tax structure, a reduction in tax cascading, and an increase in tax compliance. While there have been some challenges and criticisms, the overall impact of the GST has been positive. As India continues to implement and refine the GST, it has the potential to drive economic growth and improve the business climate in the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:1) What is GST?
A: GST stands for Goods and Services Tax. It is a tax levied on the supply of goods and services that was introduced to streamline the taxation system in India.

Q:2) When was GST introduced in India?
A: GST was introduced in India on July 1, 2017.

Q:3) Who introduced GST in India?
A: The idea of GST was first proposed by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2000, but it was actually introduced by the Narendra Modi government in 2017.

Q:4) Why was GST introduced in India?
A: GST was introduced to replace multiple indirect taxes like excise duty, VAT, and service tax with a single, comprehensive tax. This was done to simplify the taxation system, reduce tax evasion, and promote ease of doing business.

Q:5) How is GST calculated in India?
A: GST is calculated on the value of the goods or services supplied. The GST rate depends on the type of good or service being supplied and can be 5%, 12%, 18%, or 28%.

Q:6) How has GST affected the Indian economy?
A: The introduction of GST has had a mixed impact on the Indian economy. On the positive side, it has reduced the overall tax burden, simplified the tax system, and reduced tax evasion. However, it has also led to some disruptions in the short term, especially for small businesses.

Q:7) Has GST been successful in India?
A: It is too early to fully assess the success of GST in India, as it has only been implemented for a few years. However, it has been generally seen as a positive step towards streamlining the tax system and promoting ease of doing business.

Marg ERP Ltd
Marg ERP Ltdhttps://margcompusoft.com/m/
MARG ERP Ltd. has its expertise in providing the perfect customized inventory and accounting solutions for all businesses to get GST compliant.


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