Keeping this overall objective in view, an announcement was made by Palaniappan Chidambaram, the Union Finance Minister, during the central budget of 2007–2008 that it would be introduced from April 1, 2010 and that the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, on his request, would work with the Central Government to prepare a road map for introduction of GST in India.
After this announcement, the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers decided to set up a Joint Working Group on May 10, 2007, with the Adviser to the Union Finance Minister and the Member-Secretary of Empowered Committee as co-convenors and the concerned Joint Secretaries of the Department of Revenue of Union Finance Ministry and all Finance Secretaries of the states as its members. The Joint Working Group, after intensive internal discussions as well as interaction with experts and representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, submitted its report to the Empowered Committee on November 19, 2007.
This report was then discussed in detail in the meeting of Empowered Committee on November 28, 2007. On the basis of this discussion and the written observations of the states, certain modifications were made, and a final version of the views of Empowered Committee at that stage was prepared and was sent to the Government of India (April 30, 2008). The comments of the Government of India were received on December 12, 2008 and were duly considered by the Empowered Committee (December 16, 2008).
The Empowered Committee on 10th November 2009 released First discussion Paper on Goods and service tax.
First Discussion Paper
Goods and Services Tax
The Empowered Committee
State Finance Ministers
November 10 , 2009
If the Value Added Tax (VAT) is considered to be a major improvement over the pre-existing Central excise duty at the national level and the sales tax system at the State level, then the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be a further significant breakthrough – the next logical step – towards a comprehensive indirect tax reform in the country.
Introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) at the Central and the State level has been considered to be a major step – an important breakthrough – in the sphere of indirect tax reforms in India. If the VAT is a major improvement over the pre-existing Central excise duty at the national level and the sales tax system at the State level, then the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will indeed be a further significant improvement – the next logical step – towards a comprehensive indirect tax reforms in the country.
Keeping this significance of GST in view, an announcement was made by the then Union Finance Minister in the Union Budget, as mentioned before, to the effect that GST would be introduced from April 1, 2010, and that the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers would work with the Central Government to prepare a road map for introduction of the GST.
The various Central, State and Local levies were examined to identify their possibility of being subsumed under GST. While identifying, the following principles were kept in mind