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GST Council Guide and GST Council meeting

Updated on :  

08 min read.

The GST Council was established to govern the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law. The GST Council refers to a joint forum of the Centre, states and Union Territories (UT) to make recommendations on crucial GST matters to the Centre and states/UT. The Council functions on cooperative federalism at the GST Council meeting and therefore plays an important role in implementing the GST law in India. Read on to learn more about the functions, powers, and constitution of the GST Council with frequently asked questions.

Latest Updates

16th December 2022
48th GST Council Meeting is scheduled on 17th December 2022, Saturday. This meeting is happening after a gap of five months ahead of the Union Budget 2023, slated to be presented on 1st February 2023.

24th June 2022
The 47th GST Council meeting was held on the 28th and 29th of June 2022 in Chandigarh. Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman chaired this meeting and made recommendations to revise rates for revenue augmentation and correction of inversion while pruning the GST exemption list. Compliance relief was granted to e-commerce suppliers and composition taxpayers.

What is the GST Council?

The Indian government introduced the GST Council to govern the implementation of the goods and services tax in India. The GST Council is an apex member committee establishing or modifying any regulation or rule about GST in India. 

The Council monitors the taxation process under the GST law to provide support to the CBIC and to take measures to curb fraud and tax evasion under GST. The GST council considers suggestions and recommends changes to the GST law in its meetings regarding GST rates, return deadlines, filing processes, and the like. These recommendations are later notified by the CBIC to become a part of the GST law.

GST Council Constitution

The GST Council was constituted in compliance with Article 279A (1) of the amended Indian Constitution or the Constitution (One Hundred And First Amendment), Act 2016. It was set up by the President of India within sixty days of the applicability of Article 279A, from 12th September 2016. The GST Council office is set up in the national capital, New Delhi, and the GST Council Secretariat administers the functioning of the GST Council.

The Union cabinet also allocates funds for meeting the expenses (recurring and non-recurring) of the GST Council Secretariat, the cost of which is entirely borne by the Central government.

The GST Council is led by the Union Finance Minister (FM), presently Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, acting as the Chairperson. The Union FM is assisted by the Union Minister of State, who is in charge of the Revenue of Finance, and the Revenue Secretary. 

Further, members include every state and Union Territory represented by the respective state Finance Ministers, the Chief Minister, and senior officers from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry in states and UTs. 

Why was the GST Council set up?

The primary purpose of the GST Council was to take critical decisions collaboratively and harmoniously under the GST law that operates on the motto – “One nation, one tax”. 

The primary responsibility of the GST Council is to ensure a uniform GST rate for goods and services across the nation. It recommends GST exemptions with or without conditions, the due date of GST returns and forms, GST procedures and changes in tax deadlines applicable to taxpayers across India. Further, it reviews the GST collections periodically when it meets, recommends special measures for revenue augmentation and to mitigate tax evasion, and recommends special GST laws for specific states. 

Composition of the Goods and Services Tax Council

As discussed above, the GST Council refers to a joint forum of the central government, state governments and governments formed in the Union Territories. There are, in total, 33 GST Council members

  • The Union Finance Minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, is the Chairperson.
  • The Union Minister of State, who is in charge of the Revenue of Finance is a member
  • The Minister who is in charge of the portfolios such as finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by every state government as its member. 

An Additional Secretary to the GST Council and four Commissioners are anointed to function at the office of the GST Council Secretariat. It has officers from both the central and state governments.

Functions of the GST Council

The Ministry of Finance convenes the GST Council meeting after the agenda is made. The GST Council lays down the GST laws, rules and principles on the following-

  • Adjudication procedure, appeals, advance rulings, penalties and prosecution
  • Place of supply, time of supply and valuation rules
  • Threshold limits for GST registration, the applicability of GST returns, or GST compliance, such as e-invoicing and e-way bills
  • The GST return filing process, input tax credit availability, and forms for compliance
  • GST rates on the supply of goods and services, GST exemptions and composition scheme, reverse charge applicability
  • Goods and services exempted from GST
  • Special rates for raising additional resources at the time of a natural calamity or disaster
  • Special GST rates for certain states

How GST Council works?

The GST Council has to meet at designated venues in person or virtually at regular intervals. The CBIC is the permanent invitee of such GST Council meetings. A GST Council meeting must happen at least once every quarter, however, the same has not always been followed. 

GST Council meeting will have recommendations for the Union and the States on critical GST-related issues. A Group of Ministers (GoM) or committee of Ministers are formed on specific tax issues or GST revenue augmentation to study and report on the matters questioned before the GST Council in-depth. The GoM may or may not reach a consensus on the questioned issue and the ultimate decision lies with the GST Council.

In a GST Council meeting, the GST Council members deliberate and vote for or against a particular recommendation proposed or tabled before the GST Council, either by the Ministers or GoM. If the GST Council has not reached a consensus on any specific matter, the GST Council meeting gets deferred for the decision to be taken at a future meeting based on further study of the GoM. The CBIC does not have any voting power.

GST Council meeting update

The GST Council meeting date is usually scheduled once every quarter. After the GST Council meeting concludes, the Union FM, along with Revenue Secretary and CBIC Chairman, briefs the media or press with the GST Council meeting highlights or the GST Council meeting outcome.

The GST Council meeting 2022 was witnessed twice, with the 47th GST Council meeting and the 48th GST Council meeting. You can follow the Clear GST social media handle for instant updates on the GST Council meeting today.

Check out the latest update on the GST Council meeting that took place or is scheduled to take place-

48th GST Council Meeting

47th GST Council Meeting

46th GST Council Meeting

45th GST Council Meeting

44th GST Council Meeting

43rd GST Council Meeting

42nd GST Council Meeting

41st GST Council Meeting

40th GST Council Meeting

39th GST Council Meeting

38th GST Council Meeting

37th GST Council Meeting

36th GST Council Meeting

35th GST Council Meeting

34th GST Council Meeting

33rd GST Council Meeting

32nd GST Council Meeting

31st GST Council Meeting

30th GST Council Meeting

29th GST Council Meeting

28th GST Council Meeting

27th GST Council Meeting

26th GST Council Meeting

25th GST Council Meeting

23rd GST Council Meeting

Follow the GST Council meeting live updates and GST Council meeting highlights on the links given above.

FAQ on GST Council

When was the GST Council constituted?

The GST Council was constituted on 12th September 2016.

What is the vision behind establishing a GST council?

The GST Council was formed with a vision to allow cooperative federalism for governing GST implementation in India.

When did the GST Council approve the GST compensation to states bill?

The GST Compensation to states Bill was initially introduced by Lok Sabha and passed in March 2017 and later was approved by the GST Council for extension in term up to 31st March 2026. 

What is Article 279A of the Indian Constitution?

Article 279A of the Indian Constitution pertains to the Goods and Services Tax Council and its functions.

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