GST Council

What is GST Council?

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What is GST Council?

With the GST rollout getting closer and closer, the media is filled with mentions of GST Council. In this article, we look into the GST Council and understand one of the key councils that regulate all aspects of GST in India.

When GST Council was Created?

The process for creating GST Council was started in India when The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-second Amendment) Bill, 2016, for introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) was accorded assent by the President on 8th September 2016. As per 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. The notification for bringing into force Article 279A with effect from 12th September 2016 was issued on 10th September 2016.

Following the assent of GST Bill, The Union Cabinet in a meeting held on 12th September 2016 approved setting-up of GST Council and setting-up of its Secretariat. Further, 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.

The press release below by the Ministry of Finance, shows the announcement for creation of GST Council:

GST Council Creation - Press Release

Members of GST Council

The GST Council consists of the following members:

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

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 GST 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. Four posts of Commissioner in the GST Secretariat (at the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India).

Decision Making by GST Council

The GST Council will make recommendations on:

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

GST Council Secretariat

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

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