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What is GST Council?


What is GST Council?

The Government of India (GoI) introduced the GST Council to modify, regulate and reconcile the goods and services tax in India. The Council replace all the existing multiple taxation process and introduce new taxation methods to ease the taxation process for the taxpayers. The Council shall also monitor all the taxation process to provide support to the respective departments and to avoid the fraudulent process. In this article, we look into the GST Council and understand one of the key councils that regulate all aspects of GST in India.

Creating GST Council

The process for creating GST Council started in India when the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-second Amendment) Bill 2016, for the 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 president should approve to constitute within 60 days of the commencement of Article 279A. On 10th September 2016, the notification stated to bring Article 279A into force with effect from 12th 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 was conducted on 22nd and 23rd September 2016 in New Delhi.

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

GST Council Creation - Press Release


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.

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.
  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 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

The GST Council will make recommendations on:

  • GST shall include taxes, cesses, and surcharges;
  • Goods and services which possibly will be subject to, or exempt from GST;
    The threshold maximum value of turnover for the 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.


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