Explain the composition of the GST Council while elucidating recent decisions taken towards making GST more refined. Do you agree with the view that the committee system in GST council (much like parliament) will help towards its better functioning?

Published: December 10, 2017


GST council is a constitutional body which is created under Article 279-A by 101st constitutional amendment act. The council has crucial responsibilities relating to finalizing the tax base by recommending the goods and services to be exempted, the threshold for taxation, the revenue-neutral rate (RNR) and the rate structure.
It 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.

A committee system mainly made up with a small number of members appointed to deal with particular areas or issues originating in the parliamentary democracy. At present stage this system is new and is not time tested. It may be possible that it may not suit to because sometimes state may not get adequate representation.

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