GST Council is an apex member committee to modify, reconcile or to procure any law or regulation based on the context of goods and services tax in India. The GST council is the key decision-making body that will take all important decisions regarding the GST. The Goods and Service Tax Council dictates tax rate, tax exemption, the due date of forms, tax laws, and tax deadlines, keeping in mind special rates and provisions for some states. The predominant responsibility of the Goods and Service Tax Council is to ensure to have one uniform tax rate for goods and services across the nation.
The following are the features of Goods and Service Tasx Council:
- It’s office is set up in New Delhi.
- Revenue Secretary is appointed as the Ex-officio Secretary to the Council.
- Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is included as the chairperson as a permanent invitee (non-voting) to all proceedings of the GST Council.
- Create a post for Additional Secretary to the Goods and Service Tax Council.
- Create four posts of commissioner in the GST Council Secretariat. (This is at the level of Joint Secretary)
- GST Council Secretariat will have officers taken on deputation from both the Central and State Governments.
The cabinet also provides funds for meetings the expenses (recurring and nonrecurring) of the GST Council Secretariat. This cost is completely borne by the Central government.
CREATION OF GST COUNCIL
Creation of the GST Council was facilitated by the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Second Amendment) Bill 2016 was approved by the President of India on 8th September 2016. The objective of the Bill was to introduce GST in India. Thereafter, the notification for enforcing Article 279A was issued on 10th September 2016 and the Article came into effect from 12th September 2016. On this date, in a Union Cabinet meeting, the establishment of the Goods and Service Tax Council was approved along with the establishment of the GST Council’s Secretariat. The Finance Minister at the time, Mr. Arun Jaitley, also convened the first meeting of the Goods and Service Tax Council on 26th and 27th September 2016.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is governed by the Goods and Service Tax Council. Article 279 (1) of the amended Indian Constitution states that the Goods and Service Tax Council has to be constituted by the President within 60 days of the commencement of the Article 279A.
According to the article, Goods and Service Tax Council will be a joint forum for the Centre and the States. It consists of the following members:
- The Union Finance Minister will be the Chairperson
- As a member, the Union Minister of State will be in charge of Revenue of Finance
- The Minister in charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State government, as members.
QUORUM AND DECISION MAKING
- For a valid meeting of the members of GST Council, at least 50 percent of the total number of the member should be present at the meeting.
- Every Decision made during the meeting should be supported by at least 75 percent majority of the weighted votes of the members who are present and voting at the meeting. In “Article 279A” a principle is there which divides the total weighted vote cast between Central Government and State Government:-
- The vote of Central Government shall have the weighted of one-third of the total votes
- The votes of State Government shall have the weighted of two third of the total votes, cast in the meeting
- Any act, decision or proceedings shall not be declared as invalid on the basis of any remaining deficiency at the time of establishment of GST Council i.e.
- if there is any vacancy remained in the Council
- if there is any defect in the constitution of Council
- if there is any defect in the appointment of a person as a member of the Council
- if there is any procedural non-compliance.
FUNCTIONS /DUTIES OF THE GST COUNCIL
Besides governing GST implementation in the country, the GST Council has two major duties to dispose of. These include making recommendations and holding GST Council meetings. Let’s understand these duties in details –
GST Council recommendations
According to the provisions laid down under Article 279A (4), the GST Council has the duty to make recommendations about GST .Article 279A (4) specifies that the Council will make recommendations to the Union and the States on the important issues related to GST, such as, the goods and services will be subject or exempted from the Goods and Services Tax.
They lay down GST laws, principles that govern the following:
- Place of Supply
- Threshold limits
- GST rates on goods and services
- Special rates for raising additional resources during a natural calamity or disaster
- Special GST rates for certain States
GST Council meetings
Another important duty of GST Council is to meet and discuss about the GST rules and laws which would be beneficial for dealers. Ever since the GST Council has been formed, various meetings have taken place.
Dispute handling by the GST Council
The GST Council is also charged with the duty to create a mechanism with which the following disputes would be settled –
- Disputes between the Central Government and the State Government of a State
- The disputes between the Central Government and one or more States on one side and one or more States on the other side
- Disputes between two or more States which occurred due to any recommendation of the Goods and Service Tax Council or due to the implementation of the recommendation of the council.
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