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GST Council

What is GST Council?

The GST Council was established by the Government of India (GOI) to modify, regulate, and reconcile India’s goods and services tax. To make the taxation process easier for taxpayers, the Council will replace all existing multiple taxation processes and introduce new taxation methods. The Council will also monitor the entire taxation process to assist the various departments and prevent fraud.

For the purpose of putting GST into effect, the Constitutional (122nd Amendment) Bill (CAB) was introduced in the Parliament and passed by the RajyaSabha on August 3, 2016, and by the LokSabha on August 8, 2016, respectively. Over 15 states supported the CAB, and on September 8, 2016, the President of India signed the “Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016,” which amended the Constitution by one hundred and one clauses. It has since been notified that the GST council has been established, establishing the Constitutional body responsible for deciding issues connected to GST.

On September 16, 2016, the Government of India published notifications bringing into effect all provisions of the CAB and putting the wheels in motion for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). With this notification, the government has set an upper limit of one year, or until September 15, 2017, for implementing the Goods and Services Tax.

GST Council Members

The GST Council Consists of these members as follows:

  1. The Chairman: Union Finance Minister.
  2. The Union Minister of State resposible for Revenue or Finance.
  3. The Minister responsible for Finance or Taxation or some other Minister, designated by each State Government.
  4. During the Union Cabinet meeting held on September 12th, 2016, it was also decided to appoint:
  • The Secretary (Revenue) as Ex-officio Secretary.
  • The Chairperson of the Central Board of Excise and Custom (CBEC), as a permanent invitee (non-voting) to all proceedings of the Council.
  • One post of the Additional Secretary to Council in the Secretariat (at the level of Additional Secretary to the Government of India).
  • Four posts of the Commissioner in GST Secretariat (at the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India).

GST Council Meeting

  • The GST Council is the most important decision-making body for the GST, and it is in charge of all major GST decisions. The GST Council establishes tax rates, exemptions, form due dates, tax regulations, and tax deadlines while taking into account that some states have their rates and limits. The GST Council’s main task is to ensure that goods and services are taxed at the same uniform rate throughout the country.
  • When the GST Council meets, it deliberates on and proposes new GST legislation that will benefit merchants nationwide. The most recent GST Council meeting resolved to apply GST requirements on e-way bills, requiring products worth more than Rs. 50,000 to be registered online prior to being transported. Additionally, they have extended the deadline for submitting GSTR 1 forms. The Council will also establish anti-profiteering screening committees in accordance with the GST law, which will aid in strengthening the National Anti-Profiteering Authority’s enforcement capacities.
  • Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. NirmalaSitharaman presided over the last GST Council 44th Meeting – 12th June 2021, which was held through video conference. The virtual conference, which included Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur as well as finance ministers from states and union territories (UTs), was held to finalize plans to compensate states for a revenue imbalance of Rs. 2.35 lakh crore in the current fiscal year, according to the participants.

Role of Chairman of GST council and GST council members

The GST Council’s major responsibility is to make recommendations to the Union and the states on various aspects of the GST.

  • Taxation levied by the government on goods and services that may be subsumed under the goods and services tax
  • The items and services that may be subject to the goods and services tax or that may be exempt from it
  • GST model laws, levy principles, IGST apportionment, and principles governing the location of supply
  • The turnover threshold below which goods and services are exempt from goods and services tax
  • Rates of GST, including floor rates
  • Any extra charges for a limited time in order to raise additional resources after a natural catastrophe or crisis
  • Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand have specific provisions
  • Any other GST-related matter that the Council may determine

The GST Council will also suggest the date on which GST would be charged on petroleum crude, high-speed diesel, motor spirit (also known as petrol), natural gas, and aviation turbine fuel.

Features of GST council India

The features of GST council India are as follows:

  • The GST Council’s headquarters are in New Delhi.
  • The GST council includes the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) as a non-voting permanent invitee chairperson to all of its meetings.
  • The GST Council appointed the Revenue Secretary of India as its Ex-officio Secretary. The GST Council established a position for an Additional Secretary. The GST Council established four commissioner positions in its Secretariat (at the level of Joint Secretary)
  • The GST Council Secretariat will deputize officers from both the federal and state governments.
  • The cabinet provides recurrent and non-recurring monies for the GST Council Secretariat’s meetings and expenses. The central government is entirely responsible for the Secretariat’s costs.

Structure of GST council India

The members of the GST Council are given the authority to make decisions during the meetings that they attend. According to Article 279(1) of the modified Indian Constitution, the GST Council is a combined forum for the Indian center and states on taxation issues. The GST Council is comprised of the following individuals:

  • The Union Finance Minister serves as the chairperson.
  • Minister in charge of Finance and Revenue in the State Union Minister in charge of Finance and Revenue in the State Union
  • Ministers from other state governments have been nominated to serve on the GST Council.
  • The GST Council is administered by the GST Council Secretariat. It includes officers taken on deputation from the Indian central and state governments.

FAQs related to GST Council

What is the latest GST council meeting update for 2021?

GST rates on certain items used in Covid-19 relief and management, such as hand sanitizer, face masks, gloves, personal protective equipment kits (PPE kits), and temperature scanners, will be reduced, and a decision will be made on relief for COVID-19-related individual items, based on the Group of Ministers’ report.

Powers of GST Council?

The GST Council, according to Article 279A (4), will make recommendations to the Union and States on key GST issues, such as
-The goods and services that are either subject to GST or are exempt from it.
-Principles governing the location of supply.
-Limits on the threshold.
-GST rates, including floor rates with bands, special rates for raising additional funds in the event of natural disasters/calamities, and RNR
-Special provisions applicable to specific states, etc.
-Provisions for Transition

How many times does the GST Council meet in a year?

The council is required to convene at least once every quarter. It may, however, vary depending on the scenario.

What constitutes a genuine GST Council meeting in terms of attendance?

A GST Council meeting is valid if at least 50% of the council’s members attend.

Who is responsible for the management of the GST Council’s secretariat?

The Central Government is responsible for the entire expense of administration of the GST Council Secretariat. The Union Cabinet authorized appropriate cash for the GST Council Secretariat’s recurring and non-recurring expenses during the GST Council’s first meeting following its establishment.

What is the Secretariat of the GST Council?

The GST Council Secretariat is the administrative entity for the GST Council. The Secretariat is composed of deputation officers from the Central and State Governments.