Last summer India’s Parliament finally approved the Constitutional Amendment Bill. With that out of the way, India will now have to sort out five enabling laws—the CGST Bill, SGST Bill, IGST Bill, UTGST Bill and Compensation Bill. These five laws appear to be the final hurdles before GST can be implemented. The SGST Bill will need the approval of the State Legislature Assemble. The other four Bills will need the approval of Parliament.
India’s current timetable is ambitious. As recently as two weeks ago Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed optimism that India would hit its July 1 implementation date. That means after taking seventeen years to pass one GST Bill, India’s Parliament will have to pass four more Bills in less than four months if it wants to stay on schedule.
Failing to hit the July 1 deadline would not be fatal to GST. In that case implementation may simply be delayed several months. That would be the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is that Parliament deadlocks on one or more of the enabling Bills and implementation is postponed indefinitely.