Article 279A – Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC)

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Article 279A – Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC). Article 279A lays downs the constitution of GST Council, operative parts w.r.t. the sates, normal rates, special rates of the GST, Voting methodology. Recently we provide complete details for GST RegistrationGST Login Procedure, GST Rates 2017, GST Return Online Process, GST Refund Details, HSN Code List etc…The detailed provisions for “Article 279A – Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC)” are as under:

GST Council

Article 279A – Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC)

(1) The President shall, within sixty days from the date of commencement of the Constitution (One Hundred and Twentysecond Amendment) Act, 2014, by order, constitute a Council to be called the Goods and Services Tax Council(GSTC).

(2) The Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) shall consist of the following members, namely:—

  • (a) Chairperson- Union Finance Minister;
  • (b) Member From Central Govt- Union Minister of State in charge of Revenue or Finance;
  • (c) Members from State Govt – Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government.

(3) The Members of the Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) referred to in sub-clause (c) of clause (2) shall, as soon as may be, choose one amongst themselves to be the Vice-Chairperson of the Council for such period as they may decide. (ie Vice Chairperson will be from Member from State Govt)

(4) The Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) shall make Recommendations to the Union and the States on—

  • (a) the taxes, cesses and surcharges levied by the Union, the States and the local bodies which may be subsumed in the goods and services tax;
  • (b) the goods and services that may be subjected to, or exempted from the goods and services tax;
  • (c) model Goods and Services Tax Laws, principles of levy, apportionment of Integrated Goods and Services Tax and the principles that govern the place of supply;
  • (d) the threshold limit of turnover below which goods and services may be exempted from goods and services tax;
  • (e) the rates including floor rates with bands of goods and services tax;
  • (f)  any special rate or rates for a specified period, to raise additional resources during any natural calamity or disaster;
  • (g) Special provision with respect to the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand; and
  • (h) any other matter relating to the goods and services tax, as the Council may decide.

(5) The Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) shall recommend the date on which the goods and services tax be levied on petroleum crude, high speed diesel, motor spirit (commonly known as petrol), natural gas and aviation turbine fuel.

(6) While discharging the functions conferred by this article, the Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) shall be guided by the need for a harmonised structure of goods and services tax and for the development of a harmonised national market for goods and services.

(7) One half of the total number of Members of the Goods and Services Tax Council(GSTC) shall constitute the quorum at its meetings.

(8) The Goods and Services Tax Council shall determine the procedure in the performance of its functions.

(9) Every decision of the Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) shall be taken at a meeting, by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the weighted votes of the members present and voting, in accordance with the following principles, namely:—

  • (a) the vote of the Central Government shall have a weightage of one third of the total votes cast, and
  • (b) the votes of all the State Governments taken together shall have a weightage of two-thirds of the total votes cast, in that meeting. (Refer : Illustration at the end for better understanding)

(10)No act or proceedings of the Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) shall be invalid merely by reason of—

  • (a) any vacancy in, or any defect in, the constitution of the Council; or
  • (b) any defect in the appointment of a person as a member of the Council; or
  • (c) any procedural irregularity of the Council not affecting the merits of the case.

(11)The Goods and Services Tax Council may decide about the modalities to resolve disputes arising out of its recommendation.

Illustration for Clause 9 of Proposed Article 279A:

The “weighted votes of the members present and voting” in favour of a proposal in the Goods and Services Tax Council (GSTC) shall be determined as under:—

WT = WC+WS
Where,
WT = WC + WS =(WST/SP) × SF
Wherein
WT =Total weighted votes of all members in favour of a proposal.
WC = Weighted vote of the Union = 1/3 i.e., 33.33% if the Union is in favour of the proposal and be taken as “0” if, Union is not in favour of a proposal.

WS = Weighted votes of the States in favour of a proposal.
SP = Number of States present and voting.
WST = Weighted votes of all States present and voting i.e. 2/3, i.e., 66.67%
SF = Number of States voting in favour of a proposal

By analyzing the above article, it is clearly understood that due weightageis given to the states in representation and voting process also. The tax rates system may vary from state to state based on geographical, economical conditions and income of the state, thus special provision with respect to the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are laid down. Further the provision special rates are also inserted for enabling the council to vary the rates from state to state. GST will have

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