After years of political bickering, tax reform - considered transformative - has been passed by India's upper house of parliament, paving the way for a country of 1.3 billion to turn into a common market (free trade area).
In the long run, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will boost India's $2 trillion economy by doing away with a confusing mesh of taxes and duties levied by India's 29 states and the federal government that have bogged businesses.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the tax is the most significant in the history of India.
"It would convert India into one uniform economic market with a uniform tax rate, bring about a seamless transfer of goods and services across the country, enable us to check evasion and therefore enlarge the revenues," he said.
The government managed to build a political consensus a year and a half after the reform was passed by the lower house by bringing the main opposition Congress Party and most state governments on board. The result: a civilized debate in parliament where noisy disruptions are common.
"We were never opposed to the GST. The country is now ready to embrace the idea of a GST," said top Congress Party leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.