The 47th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax Council began in Chandigarh, almost marking five years of the tax system coming into effect on July 1, 2017.
GS III- Indian Economy
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is GST?
- GST Council
- What has changed this time?
What is GST?
GST is a destination-based indirect tax and is levied at the final consumption point. Under it, the final consumer of the goods and services bear the tax charged in the supply chain. GST is a transparent and fair system that prevents black money and corruption and promotes new governance culture.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act came into effect in 2017.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced by the Government of India to boost the economic growth of India. GST is considered to be the biggest taxation reform in the history of the Indian economy.
- The power to make any changes in the GST law is in the hands of the GST Council. GST Council is headed by the Finance Minister. One hundred and first amendment act, 2016 introduced the GST in India in July 2017.
- Goods & Services Tax Council is a constitutional body for making recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to Goods and Service Tax.
- As per Article 279A (1) of the amended Constitution, the GST Council has to be constituted by the President within 60 days of the commencement of Article 279A.
- The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, for the introduction of Goods and Services Tax in the country was introduced in the Parliament and passed by Rajya Sabha on 3rd August 2016 and by Lok Sabha on 8th August 2016.
- GST Council is an apex member committee to modify, reconcile or procure any law or regulation based on the context of goods and services tax in India.
- The GST council is responsible for any revision or enactment of rule or any rate changes of the goods and services in India.
- The council contains the following members:
- Union Finance Minister (as chairperson)
- Union Minister of States in charge of revenue or finance (as members)
- The ministers of states in charge of finance or taxation or other ministers as nominated by each state’s government (as members).
Matters on which GST Council makes recommendations
- Taxes, cesses, and surcharges levied by the Centre, States and local bodies which may be subsumed in the GST;
- Goods and services which may be subjected to or exempted from GST;
- Model GST laws, principles of levy, apportionment of IGST and principles that govern the place of supply;
- Threshold limit of turnover below which goods and services may be exempted from GST;
- Rates including floor rates with bands of GST;
- Special rates to raise additional resources during any natural calamity;
- Special provision with respect to Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand;
- Any other matter relating to the goods and services tax, as the Council may decide.
What has changed this time?
- The ongoing meeting is the first since a decision of the Supreme Court in May this year, which stated recommendations of the GST Council are not binding.
- The court said Article 246A of the Constitution gives both Parliament and state legislatures “simultaneous” power to legislate on GST and recommendations of the Council “are the product of a collaborative dialogue involving the Union and States”.
- This was hailed by some states, such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu, who believe states can be more flexible in accepting the recommendations as suited to them.
- The council’s meeting is also likely to focus on the issue of extension of the GST compensation regime beyond June 2022.
- This was a special mechanism by which states were assured that their revenues would not be affected by the new GST system.
- Some states are already demanding that the compensation be continued.
- Earlier, the Council had agreed to extend the levy of compensation cess till 2026, but only for repayment of the borrowings made in the aftermath of the pandemic to provide compensation to states.
-Source: Indian Express