Composition & Functions of GST Council

The Goods & Services Tax Council {GST Council} has been created in September 2016 under Article 279-A of the Constitution of India. The main objective of GST is to develop a harmonized national market of goods and services. It has its Secretariat office in New Delhi.

Composition of GST Council

GST Council is a federal forum with both centre and states in India on board. It is made of:

  • The Union Finance Minister (as Chairman),
  • The Union Minister of State in charge of Revenue or Finance, and
  • The Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation or any other Minister, nominated by each state government.

The decisions of the GST Council are made by three-fourth majority of the votes cast. The centre has one-third of the votes cast, and the states together have two-third of the votes cast. Each state has one vote, irrespective of its size or population.

Apart from the above:

  • The Secretary (Revenue) will be appointed as the Ex-officio Secretary to the GST Council.
  • The Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), will be included as a permanent invitee (non-voting) to all proceedings of the GST Council.
  • One post of Additional Secretary to the GST Council in the GST Council Secretariat (at the level of Additional Secretary to the Government of India) will be created.
  • Four posts of Commissioner in the GST Council Secretariat (at the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India) will also be created.

Functions of GST Council

As per Article 279A (4), the Council will make recommendations to the Union and the States on important issues related to GST, like

  • Taxes, cesses, and surcharges to be subsumed under the GST;
  • Goods and services which may be subject to, or exempt from GST;
  • The threshold limit of turnover for application of GST;
  • Rates of GST;
  • Model GST laws, principles of levy, apportionment of IGST and principles related to place of supply;
  • Special provisions with respect to the eight north eastern states, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttarakhand; and
  • Other related matters.

GST rates will include the floor rates with bands, special rates for raising additional resources during natural disasters / calamities, special provisions for certain States, etc.

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