GST Council is a 33 member committee that has the responsibility to suggest amendments, regulate, define what is GST to the general public, implement GST laws and take decisions over every facet of GST. GST Council Members for a long time have tried to make GST a convenient method of collection of tax and regulation of businesses. They have worked hard to make people understand what is GST and helped them follow the law.
If you still don’t have an idea about what is GST, it’s one indirect tax that has replaced the long list of indirect taxes in various verticals throughout the country. It has replaced state-based tax, entertainment tax, road tax and much more into a single destination-based tax. While understanding what is GST seems easy by definition, GST council members have worked hard to actually implement the controversial tax system in India.
After Article 279 under the 101st Amendment Act established the implementation of GST throughout India, Article 279A was passed to incorporate the making of a GST Council. The first-ever meeting of the GST Council members was headed by the late Mr. Arun Jaitley, then Finance Minister, on 22nd September 2016.
Purpose of GST Council
The GST Council is the key decision-making body that is designated to take every decision regarding GST. Implementing GST and replacing the indirect tax has had adverse effects on small scale businesses, farmers and unregistered industries which are in abundance in India.
The GST Council Members have the humongous task of dictating tax rates, exemptions, tax laws, deadlines, due dates while catering to the need of the less privileged too. The mission of GST Council is to smoothly incorporate one single tax throughout the country and encourage every business to contribute to that.
Structure of GST Council
Article 279(1) states that the President has to constitute the GST Council under 60 days of the commencement of Article 279A. The GST Council will be an amalgamation of ministers or representatives of States as well as the Center as it incorporates all the indirect state as well as Central Taxes. The following pre-requisites will make you clear as to what is GST Council made of.
The Union Finance Minister will head the GST Council. The first Head of GST Council was Arun Jaitley, and Nirmala Sitharaman has taken over since the Former Finance Minister’s death.
The person-in-charge of Revenue Finance is the Union Minister of State. They would act in the capacity of a member under the Council head.
Every State Government has to nominate a representative to the GST Council members who may be a finance minister, taxation minister or any other minister as per their choice. He is responsible for catering to the demands of their respective state and help make GST inclusive.
Members of the Current GST Council
Here is the complete list of the 33 current GST Council members headed by Nirmala Sitharaman, the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs in India.
- Nirmala Sitharaman- Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs
- Anurag Thakur- Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs
- Buggana Rajendranath – Andhra Pradesh Minister of Finance
- Chowna Mein- Arunachal Pradesh Minister of Finance and Investment
- Hemant Biswa Sharma- Assam Minister of Finance
- Sushil Kumar Modi- Bihar Deputy Chief Minister
- T.S.Singh Deo- Chattisgarh Minister of Taxes
- Manish Sisodia- Delhi Deputy Chief Minister
- Mauvin Godinho- Goa Cabinet Minister
- Nitin Patel- Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister
- Captain Abhimanyu- Haryana Minister of Excise and Taxation
- Jai Ram Thakur- Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister
- K.K. Sharma- Jammu Kashmir Governor’s Advisor
- C.P.Singh- Jharkhand Minister of Transport
- Bandeppa Kashempur- Karnataka Minister of Cooperation
- Dr T.M.Thomas Isaac- Kerala Minister of Finance
- Tarun Kumar Bhanot- Madhya Pradesh Minister of Finance
- Sudhir Mungatiwar- Maharashtra Minister of Finance
- Yumnam Joykumar Singh- Manipur Deputy Chief Minister
- Conrad Kongkal Sangma- Meghalaya Chief Minister
- Lalchamliana- Mizoram Minister of Taxation
- Metsubo Jamir- Nagaland Minister of Urban Development
- Niranjan Pujari- Odisha Minister of Finance and Excise
- V. Narayanasamy- Puducherry Chief Minister
- Manpreet Singh Badal- Punjab Minister of Finance
- Shanti Kumar Dhariwal- Rajasthan Minister of Law and Legal Affairs
- B.S.Panth- Sikkim Minister of Tourism and Aviation
- D.Jaykumar- Tamil Nadu Minister of Fisheries
- Md Mahmood Ali- Telangana Minister of Home and Fire
- Jishnu Debbarma- Tripura Deputy Chief Minister
- Rajesh Aggarwal – Uttar Pradesh Minister of Finance
- Satpal Maharaj- Uttarakhand Minister of Irrigation, Food Control and Tourism
- Amit Mitra- West Bengal Minister of Finance
Functions of GST Council
GST Council is accountable for giving a framework, suggesting plans and implementation policies regarding GST to the Union and State Government. Other than making clear to the public as to what is GST, the GST Council members also have to provide the following recommendations:
- Deciding on the goods and services that have to be included in GST or exempted from GST
- The minimum limit for goods and services to be exempted from GST
- Giving special attention to and planning provisions for the following controversial states: Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tripura, Nagaland and Assam.
- Deciding upon the slabs for all the goods and services under GST. They have to segregate all the goods and services and decide what is GST rate of which product.
Criteria for Decision Making in GST Council Meetings
- At least half of the GST Council Members should available in a GST Council meeting to make it an official meeting on paper.
- A minimum of 75% of voters should vote in favor of a decision for it to be called the GST Council’s decision. It’s mandatory for all the members of the GST council present in the meeting to vote.
- Central Government’s vote will have a weight of 1/3rd of the total number of votes cast.
- The GST Council should abide by laws of the constitution, and no seat should be left vacant for its decision to be accepted.
- The decision will only be valid when the GST Council complies with the laid procedure in Article 279A.
What did we learn?