What is the GST council and its functions?

About GST Council

GST council is a governing body which was introduced by the government of India to regulate, modify and direct the goods and services tax system in the nation. The GST council takes decisions over tax rates in India and furthermore it takes care of the GST implementation measures. GST council takes suggestions, improves the changes through notifications and circulates with the GST departments and ministry of finance. 

In order to ease the taxation process for the taxpayer the GST council replaced and introduced taxation methods as per requirements. The GST Council monitors all the taxation processes, providing support to departments and avoiding fraud. 

The GST Council started in India with the Constitutional amendment bill 2016 under the approval of the cabinet ministry. The GST Council establishment notification was issued on the 10th day of September 2016, and it came into force on 12th day of September 2016. On 22nd and 23rd September 2016 first GST council meeting was held in New Delhi. The head of the GST Council is The Union Finance Minister. 

Government of India issued notifications on September 16, 2016, to bring sections of CAB into effect for the final implementation of GST in India. The limit of the notification was 1 year, till 15th of September, 2017, for bringing the Goods and Service Tax Bill into effect.

The GST Council is in charge to frame important decisions and alterations in GST. It is tasked to work for the speed tax that is applicable under the model of the GST, rules of exemption, laws related to taxes and deadlines, GST form submission, and duty of special exemptions for few Indian states.

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GST Council Members 

Following members are in the GST Council:

  • The Union Finance Minister as Chairperson.

  • The Union Minister of State as Revenue incharge. 

  • Finance Minister, Taxation or any other Minister, nominated by each State Government.

Read More : How to Download GST Registration Certificate ?

Quorum of GST meetings and Decision 

The number of members that must be present at GST Council meetings in order to make the meeting valid

  • For a substantial GST gathering, the number of GST council members should be a minimum half of the complete number that should be present at each GST Council meeting.

  • 75% vote weighted is important for every discussion or choice taken in the GST Council. These votes are casted by the individuals that are from the committee, meaning these voters are Central and State governments. This set of individuals or voters should be available at the choice making gathering and cast through a ballot. Article 279A has set principles for such a kind of voting. 

  • Central government votes would have the 1/3rd of the weightage of all the casted votes. 

  • State Government votes would have the 2/3rd of the weightage of all the casted votes.

  • GST Council decision or proceedings of any type of act will be considered invalid, if the GST Council have following deficiencies at the time of its establishment: 
  1. Any vacant position in the Council.
  2. Defects in the GST constitution council. 
  3. f proper protocols are not followed while appointing the council members. 
  4. Non-adherence procedure. 
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Meetings held by GST Council 

GST council has taken many important decision during its meetings, some of the important decisions are as below: 

  • Business conducting rules in the GST Council.

  • Implementation of GST as per Timetable.

  • The states are free from the GST with a threshold limit of Rs. 20 lakhs except some special category states, for which the threshold limit is Rs. 10 lakhs. 

  • Rs. 50 lakhs is the threshold for the availing Composition scheme. Composition scheme is kept out from the Service providers and few others.

  • The Draft GST Rules were approved on the payment, refund, registration, valuation, transitional provisions, input tax credit and much more. 

  • Four slabs tax rates were structured during its meet-up, these slabs rates are 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. Cess imposition and category of exempt goods was also discussed. Cess would be levied on items like aerated drinks, some cars, pan and tobacco products. 

  • 14th GST Council meeting approved GST rates on 1211 items at Srinagar. 

  • 15th GST Council meeting approved tax rates on remaining items at New Delhi. 

  • GST Bill of 22 states and Legislative union territories have been already passed in their State Assemblies.

  • The GST Council has settled many different types of disputes that were between the governments of centre and the state.

  • States and Centre government issues of cross empowerment and administrative division have been resolved.

Read More : What is the Trademark law in India?

Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha passed different types of bills namely: 

  • CGST or The Central Goods and Services Tax bill.

  • Integrated Goods and Services Tax bill.

  • Non legislature Union Territories Goods and Services Tax bill.

  • Services Tax bill. 

The GST Council is managed by the secretariat and the central government takes the charge of managing the Secretariat. Adequate funds for the Secretariat were provided in the first creation council meeting. These funds are for the Secretariat for meeting the requirements of recurring and non-recurring expenses. 

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GST Council Functions 

GST council functions is to make recommendations to the Union and State as per Article 279A (4), on the following matters:

  • The Centre, the State, and the local bodies charge different types of taxes, cesses, and surcharges on goods and services. The function of the GST Council is to subsume these charges under the GST. 

  • Model GST Laws, levy principles, GST imposed or levied on the inter-state trade or commerce at the time of supplies, and the law or principles that are governing the place of supply. 

  • Goods and services which are subjected to or excluded from GST.

  • The turnover threshold limit for the application of the goods and services under which they may be excluded from GST.

  • Rates of the GST, or the incorporate floor rates with bands of GST. 

  • Different types of special or uncommon rates that are raised additionally for a predetermined period or at the times of natural disasters or calamities, other provisions for certain states and much more. 

  • Special provisions which are concerning the eight north eastern provinces of Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh and others.

  • Other matters that are related to GST which are addressed by the GST Council. 

Furthermore, the GST Council also looks after the resources and suggests dates on which the GST may be imposed on diesel, petrol, petroleum crude, natural gas, and turbine fuel for flying. In addition to this the council has to recommend states the compensation package for the loss of revenue for five years, because of the introduction of GST. This compensation will be determined by the Parliament. 

Conclusion 

The GST Council operates from New Delhi and its Ex-officio Secretary is the revenue secretary. It is responsible for monitoring all kinds of processes that are related with the taxation, it also takes measures in avoiding fraud. It takes care of the special provisions and other special tax categories at the times of emergency.

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