GST Council

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    The 47th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax Council began in Chandigarh.

    What is the GST Council?

    • In order to implement GST, the Constitutional (122nd Amendment) Bill (CAB for short) was passed by both houses of  parliament in 2016 .
      • The CAB was passed by more than 15 states and thereafter Hon’ble President gave assent to “The Constitution (One Hundred And First Amendment) Act, 2016”.
        •  Since then the GST council has been notified bringing into existence the Constitutional body to decide issues relating to GST.
    • It is a joint forum of the Centre and the states which  was set up by the President as per Article 279A (1) of the amended Constitution.
    • Members 
      • the Union Finance Minister (chairperson), the Union Minister of State (Finance) from the Centre.
      •  Each state can nominate a minister in-charge of finance or taxation or any other minister as a member.
    • Functions 
      • The Council, according to Article 279, is meant to “make recommendations to the Union and the states on important issues related to GST, like the goods and services that may be subjected or exempted from GST, model GST Laws”.
      • It also decides on various rate slabs of GST.
        • For instance, an interim report by a panel of ministers has suggested imposing 28 per cent GST on casinos, online gaming and horse racing. 
    • Recent Changes 
      • 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.

    Source:IE