GST council

In India, the government has formed a GST council to govern the rules of the Goods and Services Tax. It is basically a key decision-making body that will take all important decisions related to the GST. This council dictates tax rate, tax exempted, the due date of forms, tax laws, and tax deadlines, keeping in mind special rates and provisions for some states. The first and foremost responsibility of the GST Council is to ensure to have one uniform tax rate for goods and services across the nation.

When GST Council was Created?

With the enforcement of the Constitution (One hundred and twenty-second Amendment) Bill, 2016, this process of creating GST council started in India for the introduction of Goods and Services Tax. Under the Article 279A (1) of the amended Constitution, the GST Council had to be constituted by the President within 60 days of the commencement of Article 279A. Besides, The notification for bringing into force Article 279A with effect from 12th September 2016 was issued on 10th September 2016.

The Union Cabinet in a meeting held on 12th September 2016 followed the assent of GST Bill and approved setting-up of GST council as well as set up its Secretariat. In addition to this, Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley also decided to call the First Meeting of the GST Council on 22nd and 23rd September 2016 in New Delhi.

Following is the Press Release by the Ministry of Finance, shows the announcement for creation of this Council:

Who are the members of GST Council?

Following are the members of this Council:

  1. The Union Finance Minister (as Chairman).
  2. The state-in-charge of Union Minister of Revenue or Finance.
  3. The Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation or any other Minister, nominated by each State Government to this Council.

Apart from the above, in the Union Cabinet meeting held on 12th September 2016, it was also decided to appoint:

  1. The Secretary (Revenue) as the Ex-officio Secretary to this Council.
  2. The Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Custom (CBEC), as a permanent invitee (non-voting) to all proceedings of the Council.
  3. One post of Additional Secretary to the Council in the GST Council Secretariat (at the level of Additional Secretary to the Government of India).
  4. In the GST Secretariat, four posts of Commissioner (at the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India).

What would be the concerns on which GST council have to make decisions?

This council has been created to make recommendations on:

  • Taxes, surcharges, and ceases to be included under the GST
  • The Goods and services which may be subject to, or exempt from GST
  • The maximum value of threshold turnover for a smooth function of GST.
  • GST Rates
  • GST laws, principles of the levy, apportionment of IGST and principles associated with place of supply
  • Special provisions with respect to the eight northeastern states, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand; and other associated matters.
  • Other prevailing matters related to the implementation and regulation of GST in India.

Who manages the GST Council?

This council is basically managed by the GST Council Secretariat. The GST Council Secretariat is manned by officers taken on deputation from both the Central and State Governments. The Cabinet provided for adequate funds for meeting the recurring and non-recurring expenses of the GST Council Secretariat in the first meeting for the creation of the Council. The entire cost for managing this Council Secretariat is borne by the Central Government.

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