GST Council Meeting, Structure and Recommendations
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council Meeting makes decisions related to changes or new introductions made under GST.
This article discusses the following topics:
The GST Council is a body or committee which makes key decisions related to changes in GST. Proposals and decisions related to GST changes are discussed in the GST Council Meeting, 34 of which have already been held.
Decisions regarding tax rates, tax deadlines, tax exemptions, tax laws, and due dates of forms are dictated in the GST Council Meeting. These decisions are made by keeping in perspective the special provisions made for some states. The main responsibility of the GST Council is to make sure that one uniform GST rate is maintained throughout India.
The features of the GST Council are as follows:
- GST Council has its headquarters in New Delhi
- GST council is inclusive of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) as its permanent non-voting invitee chairperson to all its proceedings
- The GST Council has appointed the Revenue Secretary of India as its Ex-officio Secretary
- GST Council has created a post for its Additional Secretary
- GST Council has created four posts for commissioner in its Secretariat (at the level of Joint Secretary)
- Officers from both central and state governments will be taken on deputation by the GST Council Secretariat
- Recurring and non-recurring funds for meetings and expenses of the GST Council Secretariat are provided by the cabinet. The central government completely bears all costs of the Secretariat.
The members of the GST Council are assigned accorded power to make decisions in the meetings. According to Article 279(1) of the amended Indian Constitution, the GST Council is a joint forum for the Indian center and states. The members of the GST Council are:
- Chairperson: Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley
- State Union Minister in-charge of Finance and Revenue
- Finance and Taxation in-charge Minister
- Other state government nominated Minister as member of GST Council
- The GST Council Secretariat manages the GST Council. It includes officers taken on deputation form the Indian central and state governments.
The GST Council has been specified to make central and state recommendations on GST related issues. GST Council meeting lays down laws and principles governing:
- Place of Supply of goods and services
- Threshold limits for tax exemptions
- Goods and services exempted from tax
- Applicable GST Rates of tax, cess, and surcharge on goods and services
- Special GST rates and provisions for some states
- Special GST rates during natural or unnatural disasters so as to raise additional resources
- GST laws, levy principles, IGST apportionment, etc.
The GST Council also plans to set-up screening committees for anti-profiteering so as to strengthen the National Anti-Profiteering Authority under GST. Up till now, 34 GST Council Meetings have been held in India.