France was the world’s first country to implement GST Law in the year 1954. Since then, 159 other countries have adopted the GST Law in some form or other. In many countries, VAT is the substitute for GST, but unlike the Indian VAT system, these countries have a single VAT tax which fulfills the same purpose as GST.
In India, the discussion on GST Law was flagged off in the year 2000, when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee brought the issue to the table.
The idea behind having one consolidated indirect tax to subsume multiple currently existing indirect taxes is to benefit the Indian economy in a number of ways:
It will help the country’s businesses gain a level playing field
It will put us on par with foreign nations who have a more structured tax system
It will also translate into gains for the end consumer who not have to pay cascading taxes any more
There will now be a single tax on goods and services
In addition to the above,
The Goods and Services Tax Law aims at streamlining the indirect taxation regime. As mentioned above, GST will subsume all indirect taxes levied on goods and service, including State and Central level taxes. The GST mechanism is an advancement on the VAT system, the idea being that a unified GST Law will create a seamless nationwide market.
It is also expected that Goods and Services Tax will improve the collection of taxes as well as boost the development of Indian economy by removing the indirect tax barriers between states and integrating the country through a uniform tax rate.