Cabinet okays setting up of GST Council

| Updated on: Jan 16, 2018




The Union Cabinet on Monday approved the setting up of the crucial Goods and Services Tax Council that will take all key decisions relating to the indirect tax levy including rates and exemptions as well as the subsequent Centre, State and Integrated-GST laws.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has also called the first meeting of the GST Council on September 22 and 23 in New Delhi, said an official release.

The GST Council will be led by the Union Finance Minister and include State Ministers as members.

“Today, I have personally written to State governments to nominate one Minister to the GST Council. We have set a time limit of two months so that by November 22, the Council can discuss and take a final decision on all aspects of the tax,” said Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.

Speaking to reporters, he also expressed confidence of meeting the April 1, 2017 deadline for GST. “As of now, we are ahead of the time schedule. The main priority is to call for as many meetings as possible of the GST Council now,” he said, adding that there is no formal demand from industry to extend its roll out date.

The Finance Ministry had on September 10 notified Section 12 of the Constitution Amendment Act for GST that brought the Council into effect from Monday.

“The Cabinet also decided to provide for adequate funds for meeting the recurring and non-recurring expenses of the GST Council Secretariat, the entire cost for which shall be borne by the Central Government,” said the release, adding that the Secretariat of the GST Council will be in New Delhi.

In addition, it has also appointed the Revenue Secretary as the ex-officio Secretary of the GST Council and approved including Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), as a permanent non-voting invitee to all proceedings of the Council.

It has also approved creating 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), and four posts of Commissioner in the GST Council Secretariat (at the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India).

Empowered Committee The government has, however, not taken any decision on the fate of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers.

“All discussions on GST will take place in the GST Council and discussions on whether the Empowered Committee will continue will be taken later,” Adhia said.

States are keen that the GST Council should be separate from the Empowered Committee, which can function as a platform for States to discuss their regional issues.

Published on September 12, 2016
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